Sunday, June 26, 2011

More On Education, Charter Schools, Tenure, Tests, HS Admissions 787

3.0 de Blasio Details of UFT Pact 5
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate, Education Attack

de Blasio's Public School Report Card Grade F and Lying About Charter Success

Bill can’t handle the truth: De Blasio's continued dismissal of charterschool achievement  (NYDN Ed) Someone smart in City Hall (no joking, now) would do Mayor de Blasio a favor with a frank talk about embarrassing himself. For two days running, Wednesday and Thursday, the mayor looked downright foolish in trying to belittle the gains achieved by charter school students on the latest English and math standardized tests. Charter kids, who make up one-tenth of the city’s public school enrollment, markedly outpaced children enrolled in traditional district schools. On the math test, district proficiency rose from 35% to 36% (a one-point rise), while charters moved from 44% to 49% (a five-point gain). “It’s not a state secret that some substantial piece of that is based on charters that focus on test prep. And if that’s where they put a lot of their time and energy, of course it could yield better test scores. But we don’t think that's good educational policy. So we’re going to do it the way that we believe is right for our children.”
Mayor de Blasio’s lame excuses for charter schools’ success  (NYP) harters did better, de Blasio said, only because they focus on “test-prep.” He also (falsely) claimed charters have a “history” of “excluding” lower-performing kids. The mayor insisted his approach is outperforming charters in terms of “actually teaching kids.” And that union-run schools are “doing better” — despite their lower scores. (The proof? There isn’t any.)  Note the hypocrisy: Even as he downplayed the value of test scores at charters, he emphasized it for district schools. The results “represent important progress” and “real improvements,” he said, noting an eight-point jump in the percentage of English-proficient kids at the districts, and a one-point uptick in math.
De Blasio fires back at Success Academy boss over school's rising test scores, claims they're based on ineffective 'prep-heavy' models (NYDN)
De Blasio's agreement with teachers and principals doesn't ax enough bad educators 'to help kids' (NYDN)

Letter to Cuomo Reveals State Senate’s Plan to Help Success Academy   (NYT) In the letter, John J. Flanagan, the Senate majority leader, urged the governor to do something about the “regulatory burden imposed” by the city’s universal pre-K program.

Fariña must tell judge why computer failed special-education students (NYP) D epartment of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña will have to tell a judge why the city’s school system has failed special-education students, a new ruling says.  Manhattan Judge Lynn Kotler ordered the special tribunal in response to a suit filed by Public Advocate ­Letitia James in February. James had found that a $130 million computer program that monitors the city’s 200,000 special-education students is “incapable of providing citywide data.” As a result, disabled students have missed out on services and the city has had to pay $38 million in overtime, according to James’ lawsuit.  Fariña has resisted an inquiry into the $130 million program, known as the Special Education Student Information System, or SESIS.

Charter Schools 10% 

According to New York City Charter School Center statistics, for the first time in history the expanding charter school sector will serve roughly 106,600, or about 10 percent of all New York City school kids this year, and that number is growing, the Post reports. * DOE’s pricey ventures are overcrowding schools despite open seats: report (NYP) * A new report found overcrowding in New York City schools remains rampant even though there are more seats than enrolled students and the city Department of Education is focused on new building projects while empty classrooms collect dust, the Post reports. 

Update on Charter Schools

Education War Updates 
City votes to shutter three struggling Brooklynschools:  (DNAINFO)* Pro-charter school group slams de Blasio’s school violence record in TV ad (NYDN) * Success Academy Loses in Pre-K Battle With de Blasio Administration (NYT) * Number of struggling city schools decrease from 91 to 27 (NYDN) *  City must protect our children. DOE needs to take actionagainst sickening pattern of abuse & neglect in schools.  * State Education Commissioner Denies Request from Success Academy to Operate Its Pre-K Programs Free from NYC Oversight (NY1) * Success Academy lost itsfight with City Hall over pre-K. Mayor de Blasio this week called Success"a party of one." (NYDN) *  The Myth of the Hero Teacher (NYT)  In his new memoir, Ed Boland tells of trying, and failing, to make a difference at a public school in Manhattan. * The Post writes that de Blasio’s reversal of educationpolicies implemented during former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s time in office threaten to erode the progress achieved by New York City students on standardized test scores: * Education adviser touts Cuomo’s move away from Common Core, evaluations (PoliticoNY) * Poll: Residents feel safe in their neighborhoods, but not on the subway (PoliticsNY) * State deals Success a poorly timed loss over pre-K funding (PoliticoNY) * State deals Success a poorly timed loss over pre-K funding (PoliticoNY) * Thousands of high school juniors will pull out their pencils and calculators tomorrow morning for a revamped SAT college-admissions test that reflects the most extensive changes in a decade, including principles embodied in the nation’s Common Core academic standards.* Familiar faces in new pro-Common Core parent group(PoliticoNY) * Leadership change coming for city’s special education sector (PoliticoNY)

The Media Cover-Up of The UFT Failure at Running Charter Schools
The buried evidence of teachers union failure (NYP) ‘By their fruit you will know them,” the gospel says. “The bad tree bears bad fruit.” The lesson came to mind late Friday with news that the city would close three Brooklyn charter schools. Mayor de Blasio’s no fan of charters — why bury the story late Friday on a holiday weekend? Because two of the schools are represented by the United Federation of Teachers. Another unionized charter in the borough was shuttered last year. Though only one in 10 city charters are unionized, three of a total of five slated for closure are affiliated with the UFT. The one unionized charter remaining in Brooklyn is the UFT Charter School — founded, staffed and managed by the union — and the difference between how it says charters should work and how it actually runs its own school is illuminating. Then-union head Randi Weingarten opened the school in 2005 to prove charters could flourish under the union contract. But the East New York school was undone by internal conflict and high turnover; it received a probationary three-year renewal in 2010 and, in 2013, won two more years by consolidating grades K-12 in one building — a co-location stiffly opposed by the traditional junior high forced to give up space. The state agreed to the renewal despite the school’s multiple instances of corporal punishment, lost standardized tests, violations of Open Meetings law and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (students weren’t provided with required settings), failure to perform criminal-background checks and attrition of high-needs students. The next year, fewer than 20 percent of UFT students tested proficient in English language arts and math; the school got the city’s worst score, and the lowest possible, on the School Quality Review, failing in every category.* Gonzalez: Ex-chancellor returns to NYC to fix 80struggling Brooklyn schools (NYDN) * As part of an Education Department initiative, seven New York City Schools for the first time will set aside a percentage of seats for low-income families, English-language learners or students in the child welfare system, The New York Times reports: * Seven NYC schools are part of a new NYC Education Department initiative aimed at maintaining a racial and socioeconomic balance in fast-gentrifying neighborhoods. For the first time the department is allowing principals to set aside a percentage of seats for low-income families, English-language learners or students engaged with the child welfare system as a means of creating greater diversity.* NYC teacher claims city is anti-Irish for scheduling parent-teacher conferences on St. Patrick's Day (NYDN)

Violent Incidents at Schools Soar While de Blasio Spins Safer Than Ever
Violent incidents at NYC schools soar while de Blasio claims they’re safer than ever (NYP) There were 15,934 incidents at public schools that fell into 11 categories designated as “violent” by the state Education Department — including assaults, sex offenses and weapons possession — up from 12,978 in 2014, the data shows. Those included a stunning 40.4 percent increase in the number of assaults with physical injury and a 48.4 percent increase in assaults with serious physical injury. Additionally, the number of forcible sex offenses nearly doubled from 10 to 19, other sex offenses rose by 4 percent — from 2,151 to 2,239 — and incidents with weapons increased by nearly 15 percent. De Blasio has been touting improvements in school safety for months, saying as recently as Nov. 18 that “our schools are a lot safer than they used to be.” He has also been boasting of a 29 percent decrease in “crime” in schools between 2012 and 2015, which refers to only the fraction of overall incidents that result in arrest. The Department of Education reported just 6,875 crimes and other incidents in 2015 — even though the tally is supposed to include nonviolent acts such as trespassing, harassment and disorderly conduct. That’s 9,059 fewer incidents than the state data shows — the highest gap in at least a decade between the two systems, according to the analysis. DOE officials said the city data only includes incidents where the NYPD’s school safety agents get involved, while the state gets its data from a mandated online reporting system for school administrators. Asked whether they dispute the state’s figures, DOE officials questioned the state’s definition of “assault” relative to the penal code and argued that the designation of which incidents are violent was too broad. The state’s 11 categories of violent incidents are: homicide, forcible sex offenses, other sex offenses, robbery, assault with physical injury, assault with serious physical injury, arson, kidnapping, reckless endangerment, weapon possession and other incidents with weapons.*  Lying to New York’sparents about soaring school violence (NYP Ed) Violence in the city’s schools has soared to its highest levels in at least a decade — even as Mayor de Blasio tells New Yorkers schools are safer. This month, the mayor hailed a 29 percent drop in school crime since the 2010-11 academic year. That now looks like a carefully misleading statistic. On Thursday, Families for Excellent Schools used state data to highlight actual trends in city schools. The number of violent incidents shot up a whopping 23 percent last year (the first full year under Mayor de Blasio) — from 12,978 to 15,934. That’s far more than in any year since at least 2004-05. And it includes troubling spikes in assaults, sex-related offenses, weapons possession and other crimes. Yet de Blasio’s still spewing happy talk: His answer to the state data was to insist that “overall we have reduced violent incidents.* Violent incidents in New York City public schools are up 23 percent and assaults that led to a serious injury rose by 50 percent, according to state figures reported by principals, yet de Blasio painted a different picture, NY1reports:  * De Blasio administration is lying when he says there has been a drop in school crime, and the reason behind the spike in violence may be the drastically loosened discipline policies de Blasio and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina enacted, the Post writes: 

Education: Dumbing Down Tests and Charters Go At Albany Alone

Wednesday Over 1,000 charter school kids rally in Albany for more money (NYP) * State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia addressed more than 1,000 charter school students and teachers rallying in Albany for equal funding with regular public schools, angering the state teachers union, thePost writes: * State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has canceled a trip to the state’s most controversial and politically connected charter network, Success Academy, as she seeks to tamp down a recent drama around her appearance at a charter school rally.
New York state tests are about to become meaningless (NYP) State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia just moved to do exactly what we’d feared — water down New York’s exams. It’s a win for the teachers unions — and a loss for kids and parents. First, Elia confirmed a change announced in September: She’s cutting the number of questions on the state’s math and English tests for grades 3-8. Fewer questions makes for a less-meaningful test — especially since the state inevitably “disqualifies” several questions every year after students have taken the exams. Far worse, she’s ordered that the tests no longer be timed. * SuccessAcademy CEO Eva Moskowitz is asking state Education Department commissioner MaryEllen Elia to get involved in a spat between her charter school network and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio over pre-K services. This is lunacy. Nowhere in the world do standardized exams come without time limits (though New York makes an exception for kids with certain disabilities). Tests are about gauging a student’s knowledge and skills — including the skill of time-management. Without time limits, they’re a far less accurate measure. And kids need to learn how to take timed tests to prepare for higher-stakes exams, such as the SAT. Elia answers to the state Board of Regents, which is controlled by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. So it’s now plain Heastie puts the teachers unions ahead of New York’s children — especially underprivileged kids. Elia’s move means doing far less to measure children’s performance — so that parents (and the kids themselves) will have far less an idea of how much they need to improve. And of how much more their school, and its teachers, should be doing. We’ve crusaded against the “worthless diploma” awarded in so many city schools. Now the whole state faces “empty exams.”* Charter school chief Eva Moskowitz threatened to shut her new pre-K program at Success Academies if her dispute with New York City over payment and curriculum isn’t resolved by mid-February, The Wall Street Journal reports: New York City Rejects Federal Findings That Many Elementary Schools Defy Disabilities Law (NYT) * Fair deal for charters: Students who attend theindependently run public schools should be treated like those who attenddistrict schools (NYDN) * Officials at SUNY and CUNY headquarters are defending the salaries of their top leadership amid criticism from the Cuomo administration.* NY education commissioner'sdecision to speak at charter school rally hits a sore spot (TU) *  New York City Public Advocate Letitia James is suing the Department of Education, accusing it of failing to provide services to students with special needs as a result of a flawed data tracking system.  * The Daily News writes that charter schools are public schools, and therefore their per-student taxpayer funding should be on par with the rate provided to traditional district schools: *  Breaking down the changes to this year’s state tests in New York (PoliticoNY) * Education Commissioner’s Charter Rally Appearance Stirs Union(YNN)* Public Advocate Letitia James has sued the New York City Education Department, saying a $130 million computer system meant to track services for students with disabilities was a failure.

Charter School Moskowitz Defends 
Eva Moskowitz defends Charter Schools’ suspension policies (NYP) Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz defended her charter network’s suspension policies on Friday, saying 83 percent of kids pulled from classes return the next day — and they still get...* Success Academy Founder Defends Schools Against Charges of Bias (NYT) Eva S. Moskowitz says her network of charter schools has room to improve in how it serves students with disabilities but does not discriminate against them.

Charter School War Continues  
Grid Lock: Is NY's Govt Beginning to Look Like Congress?
Charter school supporters rally inAlbany for equal money (NYP) More than 500 cheering, chanting New York City charter-school students and supporters rallied in Albany on Wednesday to demand equality with traditional public schools when it comes to state funding.... * Letitia James files civil-rights suit against Success Academy(NYP) * Fariña’s teacher pal dodged penalties after testing scandal (NYP) *Carmen Fariña’s cronyism exposes herreal ‘education agenda’ (NYP) It helps to be in the good graces of the king — or, in this case, the queen. As Yoav Gonen reported in Wednesday’s Post, Carmen Fariña has spent years handing out job opportunities to Patricia Peterson, the daughter of a close Fariña friend. Peterson got three promotions in 2002-05, when Fariña was a superintendent and deputy chancellor under then-Chancellor Joel Klein. Fariña pushed two of the promotions — and created the position for the third. Peterson’s salary jumped from $57,000 to $97,000 over that time — and her “luck” continues: She now pulls in $118,000 for a DOE administrative job under Chancellor Fariña.* Parents of 13 current and former Success Academy students filed a complaint with the federal Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights accusing the charter school network of discriminating against students with disabilities, the Times reports:  * The Post writes that New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina’s sheltering of a close family friend as she climbed the ranks in the district despite lacking the necessary qualifications is proof that her real agenda is not about the kids:
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate, Education Attack

A Book By A Teacher in A Failing School Who Was Broken By the Students 

My year of terror and abuse teaching ata NYC high school (NYP)  n 2008, Ed Boland, a well-off New Yorker who had spent 20 years as an executive at a nonprofit, had a midlife epiphany: He should leave his white-glove world, the galas at the Waldorf and drinks at the Yale Club, and go work with the city’s neediest children. “The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School” (Grand Central Publishing) is Boland’s memoir of his brief, harrowing tenure as a public-schoolteacher, and it’s riveting. There’s nothing dry or academic here. It’s tragedy and farce, an economic and societal indictment of a system that seems broken beyond repair. Names and identifying details have been changed, but the school Boland calls Union Street is, according to clues and public records, the Henry Street School of International Studies on the Lower East Side. “Chantay,” he says, louder, “sit down immediately, or there will be serious consequences.” The classroom freezes. Then, as Boland writes, “she laughed and cocked her head up at the ceiling. Then she slid her hand down the outside of her jeans to her upper thigh, formed a long cylinder between her thumb and forefinger, and shook it . . . She looked me right in the eye and screamed, ‘SUCK MY F–KIN’ D–K, MISTER.’ ” “I was ready to change lives as a teacher,” he writes. How wrong he was.  “Oh, yeah, he’s brutal,” one colleague said. Turned out Kameron had thrown a heavy electric sharpener at a teacher’s head the year before, but the principal — whom the teachers sarcastically called their “fearless leader” — refused to expel any student for any reason. Two weeks in and Boland was crying in the bathroom. Kids were tossing $110 textbooks out the window. They overturned desks and stormed out of classrooms. There were seventh-grade girls with tattoos and T-shirts that read, “I’m Not Easy But We Can Negotiate.” Their self-care toggled in the extreme, from girls who gave themselves pedicures in class to kids who went days without showering. Angry and humiliated, Boland relayed this latest heartbreak to a veteran teacher. “As crazy as sounds,” the teacher said, “that ­father may be trying to teach his son how to survive in a hostile ­environment the only way he knows how.” Boland didn’t know what to ­believe anymore. At the end of the school year, he quit.*  New York City school safety declines as assaults are on rise (NYDN) 

Back to the Future Teacher Rubber Rooms
City pays exiled teachers to snooze as ‘rubber rooms’ return (NYP) In one of the “reassignment centers,” 16 exiled educators sit in a city Department of Education building in Long Island City, Queens, including a dozen packed into one room — where they do virtually no work. They listen to music, do crossword puzzles, chat — and as this exclusive Post photo reveals, doze on the taxpayer’s dime. The rules forbid beach chairs and air mattresses, but not nap time. The teacher sprawled on the floor, pulled a wool hat over his eyes to shut out the fluorescent lights and slept. Others prop up two chairs to recline or just lay their heads on the table. “It’s gone right back to the way it was in the old days, an old-fashioned rubber room,” one banished teacher said.  The rubber room deal is routinely violated. “No one pays any attention to the agreement,” said Betsy Combier, a veteran paralegal who helps defend teachers. While the city promised to keep removed educators busy, the Queens exiles say they only occasionally oblige requests to do menial tasks like stuffing folders or making copies. Others refuse to do such work, calling it “demeaning.” The Post writes there are no grounds to believe Cuomo’splan to turn failing schools into community schools will work and he should instead open more charter schools and close failing schools to help kids get a good education, boost job prospects and steer clear of crime: * The United Federation of Teachers shelled out $169 million last year, splurging on everything from six-figure salaries, posh hotels and pricey catering to backing groups against charter schools and funding ads attacking Cuomo over teacher evaluations, records show.

A Book By A Teacher in A Failing School Who Was Broken By the Students 

My year of terror and abuse teaching ata NYC high school (NYP)  n 2008, Ed Boland, a well-off New Yorker who had spent 20 years as an executive at a nonprofit, had a midlife epiphany: He should leave his white-glove world, the galas at the Waldorf and drinks at the Yale Club, and go work with the city’s neediest children. “The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School” (Grand Central Publishing) is Boland’s memoir of his brief, harrowing tenure as a public-schoolteacher, and it’s riveting. There’s nothing dry or academic here. It’s tragedy and farce, an economic and societal indictment of a system that seems broken beyond repair. Names and identifying details have been changed, but the school Boland calls Union Street is, according to clues and public records, the Henry Street School of International Studies on the Lower East Side. “Chantay,” he says, louder, “sit down immediately, or there will be serious consequences.” The classroom freezes. Then, as Boland writes, “she laughed and cocked her head up at the ceiling. Then she slid her hand down the outside of her jeans to her upper thigh, formed a long cylinder between her thumb and forefinger, and shook it . . . She looked me right in the eye and screamed, ‘SUCK MY F–KIN’ D–K, MISTER.’ ” “I was ready to change lives as a teacher,” he writes. How wrong he was.  “Oh, yeah, he’s brutal,” one colleague said. Turned out Kameron had thrown a heavy electric sharpener at a teacher’s head the year before, but the principal — whom the teachers sarcastically called their “fearless leader” — refused to expel any student for any reason. Two weeks in and Boland was crying in the bathroom. Kids were tossing $110 textbooks out the window. They overturned desks and stormed out of classrooms. There were seventh-grade girls with tattoos and T-shirts that read, “I’m Not Easy But We Can Negotiate.” Their self-care toggled in the extreme, from girls who gave themselves pedicures in class to kids who went days without showering. Angry and humiliated, Boland relayed this latest heartbreak to a veteran teacher. “As crazy as sounds,” the teacher said, “that ­father may be trying to teach his son how to survive in a hostile ­environment the only way he knows how.” Boland didn’t know what to ­believe anymore. At the end of the school year, he quit.*  New York City school safety declines as assaults are on rise (NYDN) 

Marking a significant shift in its lobbying strategy, the influential charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools will not hold a political rally in Albany this legislative session for the first time since NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.

70% High School Graduation Rate But Only 35% College Ready 
New York City’s High School Graduation Rate Tops 70% (NYT) The announcement, which also noted that just over 78 percent of state students earned a diploma, came as state officials met to consider changes in graduation requirements. While 88 percent of white students graduated on time last year, only 65 percent of black and Hispanic students did, and only about 50 percent of students with disabilities did. Nearly 7 percent of students in that class dropped out, a rate that held steady from the year before. Sixty-two percent of those students were black or Hispanic, and 64 percent of them were poor, the State Education Department said. In New York City, the four-year graduation rate also made small gains, to 70.5 percent, up 2 percentage points from the previous year.  But a double-digit gap remained in city schools: 85 percent of Asian students graduated, as did 82 percent of whites, while black and Hispanic students graduated at a rate of 65.4 percent and 64 percent. Each group did see gains, with Hispanic * Only 40% of NY State students are college-ready: report (NYP) * Only 35 Percent OfNYC Students College-Ready, DOE Says (WCBS)* * New York City’s high school graduation rate rose above 70 percent for the first time, but white students remained more likely to get a diploma than their black or Hispanic peers, and rates remained low for the disabled,the Times reports:

Teacher Evaluations All About Politics Cuomo's Common Core Plan Wants Year Moratorium

New York teachers have long felt that Cuomo has been waging a war on their profession. But an education task force report embraced by the governor last week signals his retreat from the tough reforms he pushed since taking office, and a huge victory for the state teachers union. *  Education Department: Early Feedback Shows Positive Common Core Feedback (YNN)  * Students and teachers will be held harmless from the results of the controversial Common Core tests until the 2019-2020 school year, after a unanimous vote from a committee of the state Board of Regents, GannettAlbany writes: 

Cuomo backtracks on Common Core, wants 4-year moratorium (NYP) * Cuomo's Common Core panel recommendations are out:  * Cuomo's Common Core task force calls for a moratorium on using test scores in teacher evaluations through 2018-2019 * The New York Common Core Task Force convened by the governor released a report which recommends overhauling Common Core, including a temporary end to linking test results to teacher performance reviews, Stateof Politicsreports * * Barbara Brancaccio, a spokeswoman at the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, blasted the de Blasio administration’s handling of homelessness in a Facebook post that described the leadership as “incompetent,”the Daily News reports:Common Core Task Force Calls For Moratorium On Linking Common Core With Evaluations YNN) *  Bill Hammond on the governor’s apparent impending flip-flop on education reform: “In retrospect, what’s surprising is that New York’s reforms happened in the first place. That they’re bogging down now is a reversion to the state’s change-averse norm.”* Gov. Cuomo calls for Common Core overhaul (NYDN)The Post writes that Mayor Bill de Blasio is beingdishonest about the evidence surrounding the closure of failing schools and that his plan to fix the schools as they are is trapping kids in a subpar education:* Cuomo’s Education Critics Praise Task Force Findings (YNN) * According to a 55-page report by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force, the results of tests aligned to Common Core Learning Standards won’t be used for teacher evaluations, at least until 2019-20. The report acknowledged that many mistakes were made in the rollout of the curriculum since 2009 and that reforms are necessary. * The report is the latest step in the state’s retreat from the Common Core school standards, national benchmarks that New York adopted in 2010, and especially from using student test scores in teacher evaluations. It comes in the wake of a rebellion by parents against testing; one-fifth of students did not sit for the state exams this year, a fourfold increase from the previous year. *  With his signature yesterday, President Barack Obama set the nation’s public schools on a sweeping new course of accountability that will change the way teachers are evaluated and how the poorest performing schools are pushed to improve.* Low-performing teachers shouldn't continue to teach whenthere are better options for our kids:  * A new report on public school funding across the country finds that most states are now providing less support per K-12 student than before the 2007-2009 Great Recession — and that some states continue to cut funding. * The figure certainly jumps out on a balance sheet: $416 million. That’s the amount of future liabilities owed by NYSUT to the union’s staff members, primarily for pension and health care costs, according to a report recently filed by the union.

The Campaign Power of the UFT de Blasio Keeping Bad School Open and Cuomo Watering Down Teacher Evaluations and Common Core
Debunking de Blasio’s latest lies about failing schools (NYP) Mayor de Blasio just won’t admit the truth about New York’s schools — and the city’s kids are paying the price. Wednesday night, he defended his decision to keep sending kids to schools that can’t teach. The Bloom­berg approach of shutting them, he said, had failed. He asked why his predecessor didn’t just “invest” in those schools instead, as he’s doing. “Simply shutting down schools obviously didn’t work,” Hizzoner insisted. “It left kids in the lurch in all those transition years, and a lot of the schools that replaced [the shuttered schools] were not necessarily better.” The evidence shows just the opposite. Last month, a rigorous study by NYU’s Research Alliance for New York City Schools found the Bloomberg shutdowns didn’t hurt kids at all during the transition — and did wonders for future students, raising graduation rates up to 15 percentage points. That echoed findings by the research group MDRC last fall and by the journal Education Researcher last spring. De Blasio did vow Wednesday — for the first time — to shut rotten schools that have no hope of improving, even before his three-year deadline. (Nice of him, huh?) But don’t believe it. His allegiance is to the teachers union; his goal, protecting staff from consequences by keeping schools open, no matter the cost to kids. * Gov. Cuomo calls for overhaul to controversial Common Core in hopes of changing system into one that empowers parents, teachers, districts (NYDN)

NYP and Daily News: Covering-Up Failed Students, Schools With Grade Inflation and Spin
The Daily News writes that New York City has offered no “credible explanation” as to why so many struggling elementary and middle schools have dramatically improved, so it likely comes from “dangerously downgraded expectations”
The Post writes that the city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is fibbing about the state of schools, and that schools under her have been “churning out lies” through grade fixing and grade inflation
Defining schoolachievement down (NYDN Ed) Fact A: At almost 200 New York City schools, fewer than 1 in 10 students passed their state exams in math or English Language Arts last year. Fact B: At these very same schools, close to 9 in 10 students got passing grades in their English or math classes. The two irreconcilable realities, highlighted in a new report by advocacy group StudentsFirstNY, underscore the profoundly dishonest message that New York City schools are sending young people and their parents day in, day out. And they prove that, despite repeated assertions to the contrary, social promotion — the practice of moving kids up even when they haven’t mastered basics — is alive and well in New York. Grade inflation is nothing new. While standardized tests have no feelings, teachers, sensitive to the kids they teach and to potential blowback from parents, are highly unlikely to fail them en masse.

But the gap is enormous between classroom grades and state test scores based on Common Core standards, which demand more of students than instruction previously did. What’s especially disheartening is that Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña have effectively taken the side of the grade inflaters. The Education Department’s latest school quality reports tagged fewer than 1% of elementary and middle schools citywide as flatly not meeting student achievement targets. Bizarrely, of about 100 elementary and middle schools the city said failed to meet student performance or progress targets last year, just two flatly flunked their achievement ratings this year.Team de Blasio has endless excuses for letting failed schools stay open (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio vowed to stop closing failed schools, protecting their incompetent staffs from consequences. Instead, he rolled out his three-year, $150 million Renewal plan to improve (some of) the worst ones. But Fariña this week admitted that’s too long to wait: “I can’t afford to have a child be more than one or two years in a building where they are not going to get what they need,” she testified. Hooray. We’ve often noted that, because many of de Blasio’s “reforms” don’t fully kick in for years, his plans leave today’s kids trapped in lousy schools, wasting irreplaceable years when they should be learning. And who knows if those reforms will ever work? Fariña’s already given these schools a year. So: Will she move to shut them now — or in another 12 months? Ever? That’s where the fretting comes in. After all, it seems she’s already falling back on her (and the mayor’s) most trusted tactic: fibbing about the state of the schools. “At schools across the city, there is a renewal taking place,” Fariña said. She cited higher attendance rates, fewer discipline problems and better test scores. Hmm. School officials under Fariña have been churning out lies almost as fast as they churn out uneducated kids. * Staffers accuse Bronx principal of fixing grades so students pass (NYP) The principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, a struggling Bronx school in Mayor de Blasio’s multimillion-dollar Renewal program, changed students’ failing grades to passing without teachers’ knowledge or consent, insiders told The Post. In one case, Santiago Taveras gave a senior who received a “no show” in a global-history class a 75 and changed her failing 55 grade in gym to a minimum passing 65, records show. She then got a credit for each class, which she didn’t deserve, several staffers charged. “He thinks he’s God and can do whatever he wants,” one said. * Just 63 percent of high school students passed a New York State algebra exam, so officials might make it easier (NYT) * Cuomo’s task force on academic standards and testing expects to hand in its much anticipated report this month amid a continuing push by teachers unions to end the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Farina Failing On Failing Schools Wants to Cut Time to Closing Them From 3 to 1 Year

Fariña doesn’t wantto wait 3 years to close failing schools anymore (NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Monday that she’s no longer willing to wait three years before closing low-performing public schools that don’t show improvement. “I think one year is crucial to see if we have the right leadership and the right teachers in the building,” Fariña testified before the City Council Education Committee. “Year 2 is, now that we have the right people in the building, what else needs to happen?” she added. “But the chancellor part in me also says I can’t afford to have a child be more than one or two years in a building where they are not going to get what they need. So it’s how you balance all this.” Only a year earlier, Fariña and Mayor de Blasio released a three-year timetable to turn around 94 struggling schools. At the council hearing, Fariña boasted that the city’s efforts to put a moratorium on school closings has been a big success.* Good grades for failing kids: Another scam from the city’s schools(NYP) * Report shows city kids who pass class are failing state exams (NYP) * Schools where 90% ofstudents couldn’t pass state English and math tests had pass rates of 85% &84% for course work   *UFT President Mike Mulgrew says the US labor movement today “faces perhaps the gravest threat to its existence since the creation of our modern system of labor law and collective bargaining in 1935″ in the Friedrichs v Brooklyn school rezoning highlights challenges ofcity integration efforts * Learning to learntogether with kids of all types (NYDN Ed) It’s one step back and eight steps forward in desegregating New York City’s public schools, which are stubbornly divided along racial and economic lines. Capitulating to anxiety, mainly among white parents worried about sending children to a predominantly minority school with lower test scores, the Department of Education abandoned a plan to adjust admissions to two Upper West Side schools that are nine blocks and worlds apart — one of them filled to overflowing, one of them with plenty of room.
de Blasio Hiding Failed Schools
How de Blasio is hiding the failure of city schools
 (NYP) Mayor de Blasio today will hold yet another carefully choreographed event designed to obscure the real state of New York City schools. It’s unclear if

New Gentrifying Residents Segregate Schools
School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest (NYT) A study finds that middle-class families are willing to live in areas where their neighbors are less well-off but they are less willing to send their children to schools where classmates are likely to be poor and either black or Hispanic.The segregation in New York City elementary schools is often assumed to be a simple consequence of where people live, but an analysis by a think tank at the New school shows things might be more complicated * Parents at Brooklyn Tech, one of New York City’s specialized high schools, have gathered 4,000 signatures on a petition demanding more city funding and argue the school had to cut advanced classes, sports and clubs, the Journal reports: The Post slams a mayoral task force draft proposal thatwould limit administrators from telling school safety agents about bullying and disorderly conduct and would curb arrests for offenses like vandalism: * Success Academy, the high-achieving charter school network, told employees this weekthat it would shorten its school day next year, altering a feature that has distinguished the network from New York City’s regular public schools but has also made it hard to retain teachers. * High-school students taking advanced courses in the fine and performing arts gained their first opportunity to earn diplomas focused on those specialties by unanimous vote of the state’s Board of Regents.* Educators began to offer up fixes after the state Board of Regents voted to dump a widely criticized test-based teacher evaluation system that was pushed through in last spring’s budget.* Researchers at the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs mapped the median family income and racial makeup of schools against those of surrounding neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and found many of the schools to have markedly less variety.* Parents at BrooklynTechnical High School had 4,395 signatures yesterday on a petition demanding a fair share of city funding, saying the elite school had to cut advanced classes, sports and clubs in recent years. WASH POST MUST READ @PostOpinions: "Rolling back school reform in New York City"  * Opponents of Common Core standards are urging parents to boycott next year’s state math and English exams, despite the state imposing a four-year freeze on using the results to grade students or teachers. * Eva Moskowitz, the head of the charter network Success Academy Schools, said the move to reduce class time was made because improved teaching and training had enabled students to achieve mastery faster. * Common Core opponents call for 2016 test protests (NYP)  Opponents of Common Core standards are urging parents to boycott next year’s state math and English exams, despite the state imposing a four-year freeze on using the results to grade...*  Opponents of Common Core standards are continuing to urge parents to boycott next year’s state math and English exams, despite the state imposing a four-year freeze on using the results to grade students or teachers, the Post reports:   *  City schoolkids find their classroom breakfast meals so unappetizing that they throw out as much as 70 percent of the food they are served, union officials said, calling for the growing breakfast program to be retooled, the Post writes: 
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate, Education Attack

After Campaigning Attacking Bloomberg for Closing Schools de Blasio Closes 3 Schools
New York City to Close 3 Troubled Public Schools in Brooklyn (NYT) It is the first time Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has elected to shut down any noncharter public schools.* New York Regents Vote to Exclude State Tests in Teacher Evaluations (NYT) The board, which was acting on a report from a task force created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, also heard recommendations for addressing problems at a Rockland County school system.* An open-and-shut case: Better late than never, de Blasiomoves to close three failing schools (NYDN Ed)* The de Blasio administration announced plans to close three poorly performing public schools for closure – a dramatic shift by the mayor, who ran for office promising to lift up failing schools rather than shut them. Flashback 2013 Public Advocate Bill de Blasio defined school closures underthe Bloomberg administration as “a bankrupt policy,” * De Blasio aims to reverse education policies in New York (Wash Post)* Three NY schools down — scores more to go (NYP Ed) The mayor came into office promising to end Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s practice of shutting down horrible schools and reopening them with new management and staff. Instead of closing failure factories, Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña vowed to plunge more money into underperforming schools — particularly the ones that made it onto their Renewal Schools list — which would have three years to turn around. Fariña recently said that maybe some schools wouldn’t get three years, and she made good on that this week with the announcement she’d close two middle schools, Peace Academy and the Urban Assembly School for the Urban Environment, and the Foundations Academy high school — all in Brooklyn. Better late than never — but also not enough. After all, out of nearly 100 Renewal schools, a mere three are being closed? In explaining the closures, the Department of Education cited three criteria: “low enrollment, performance issues and lack of demand from students and families.” Funny, measured that way, more than 80 more persistently failing schools, with 21,000 students, should be closed. Three bad schools with 212 students are shuttered — while 21,000 kids remain stuck in equally bad schools. A full 55 middle schools, with nearly 15,000 students, had lower state test scores for third- through eighth-graders than did Peace Academy and the Urban Assembly School. Twenty-five schools — with more than 7,000 students — had lower college-readiness scores than the Foundations Academy. The de Blasio administration can’t say it doesn’t have the numbers. By its own “failure criteria,” it’s made a conscious decision to keep 21,000 students stuck in failing schools.

Cuomo's Groundhog Day Teacher's Evaluations Policy While Wooing the UFT As Part of His War On de Blasio

Once more, with feeling: In his umpteenth attempt to getteacher evaluations right, Gov. Cuomo must hit the mark (NYDN ED)  In the most forceful vow of his reelection campaign, Gov. Cuomo promised that as the children’s lobbyist, he would enact the nation’s most vigorous system to raise education standards and hold teachers accountable. He got what he wished for — and then some.Fired up by teachers unions, many parents rebelled against new Common Core learning standards that revealed many students were not as proficient as past tests had indicated. With 20% of parents boycotting tests, with the unions gaining sway over the Board of Regents and with public opinion polls running against him, Cuomo has embarked on one more adjustment to how teachers will one day be evaluated, if that day ever comes.Union leaders have made a mirage of performance evaluations — the closer you get to them, the farther they recede into the distance.Consider this digested history:* Amid growing criticism that New York City is demanding too little improvement from its lowest-performing schools, the Department of Education released a list of the education targets that schools in de Blasio’s $400 million School Renewal Program are expected to meet. *  Cuomo’s latest Common Core commission could report its recommendations this week — in time to hand them off to the state Board of Regents meeting before its next meeting, Dec. 14. * An overhaul of federal education law moving through Congress — the biggest legislative change in 14 years — holds the prospect of a major shift in New York’s contentious debate over the linkage of student test scores to teachers’ job evaluations.  * Although the state has already signaled it will change its teacher evaluation system next year, an overhaul of federal education law moving through Congress could cause a major shift in the state’s contentious debate over linkage of student test scores to teachers’ job evaluations, Newsday writes:  *  FIGURE OUT THE ANSWER, GOV: Cuomo's twists and turns on school testing must yield strong standards (NYDN Ed)

 May 13, 2011: In a letter to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Cuomo urges the state education governing board to “improve and accelerate performance evaluations for teachers,” urging that “up to 40% of the total score ... be based on objective student growth measures on state tests.”  May 16, 2011: The board votes to permit districts to base up to 40% of a teacher’s annual review on student test scores. Jan. 10, 2012: Cuomo says that, due to teachers unions’ influence, the state’s 2010 evaluation law — which leaves it to districts to negotiate changes with their local unions — was “destined to fail. Feb. 16, 2012: Cuomo strikes a deal with the state teachers union that ensures teachers who can’t boost student test scores can’t be rated positively. He calls this deal “groundbreaking.” Feb. 7, 2014: Facing political backlash to the Common Core standards and tests on the cusp of his own reelection bid, Cuomo appoints a panel to study the implementation of the standards.  March 31, 2014: Cuomo and the Legislature pass a budget that, among other things, ensures that for two years, results on Common Core tests will not be used against students or appear on their permanent records. June 19, 2014: After parents — including his Republican opponent — opt their children out of state tests, Cuomo drafts a “safety net” bill that would give teachers the same two-year moratorium on Common Core test consequences.

Oct. 27, 2014: Cuomo tells the Daily News Editorial Board, “When I’m in the rocking chair, I want to be able to say I put in the first meaningful evaluation process” for teachers. Nov. 5, 2014: Cuomo wins reelection. Dec. 16, 2014: New York releases the results of the second year of evaluations; fewer than 1% of teachers are rated ineffective. That’s “not real,” says Cuomo. “I think we have to go back to work on the teacher evaluation process.” Dec. 29, 2014: Cuomo vetoes the bill he drafted in June and indicates he plans to increase, not decrease, the role of tests in evaluations. The teachers union says he “reneged” on their deal. Jan. 21, 2015: In his State of the State speech, Cuomo calls the teacher evaluation system “baloney,” and says he wants to make new state aid to districts contingent on new reforms, including a hike to 50% in the percentage of an evaluation tied to test scores. 

Do the Pols Care More About the Campaign Power, $ and Money Re-Elected, Than About Students Getting A Good Education?
March 18, 2015: With teachers unions stoking anger over the new evaluation plan and Common Core testing, 28% of those polled by Quinnipiac approve of Cuomo’s approach to education. March 31, 2015: Final budget language mandates a new evaluation model that ensures a teacher can only be rated effective or highly effective overall if his or her students’ test-score progress is also effective or highly effective. April 2015: Anxious about the tests and encouraged by the state teachers union, parents opt their children out of state tests in record numbers. June 4, 2015: In a Quinnipiac University poll, 59% of state voters disapprove of Cuomo’s education policies; 30% approve. Sept. 3, 2015: Cuomo announces that Common Core “is not working, and must be fixed,” and appoints a commission to review problems and recommend a path forward in time for his January 2016 State of the State speech. Oct. 26, 2015: In a Siena College poll, just 27% give Cuomo a passing grade on improving public education in New York.* The Post writes that de Blasio’s renewal plan for New YorkCity Schools is far too lenient on failing schools, with some schools to remain open even though they are expected to do worse in the future:* Advocates for kids with disabilities gave NYC mixed marks for special education reforms executed during the first full school year under de Blasio’s watch. The Citywide Council on Special Education issued its findings in November with a 154-page report on students with disabilities for the school year which ended in June.* In an exclusive interview with NY1, Mayor Bill de Blasiolooks back over his first 23 months in office and concludes that, at times, he needs to do a better job communicating with New Yorkers:  * Experts say there is little evidence that classroom lessons as part of de Blasio’s “Computer Science for All” initiative work to help young students develop skills for the fast-changing field, The Journal writes: 

Looks Like Everyone is Quieting Down
Marking a significant shift in its lobbying strategy, the influential charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools will not hold a political rally in Albany this legislative session for the first time since NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.

Daily News, NYP UFT Puppet Mayor Spins Bad Schools Standards Fix 

And the Times Like Always Comes to de Blasio's Rescue Tuesday . . . 

New York Education Dept. Clarifies Goals for Poor-Performing Schools (NYT) The School Renewal Program is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempt to improve troubled schools instead of shutting them down, but how they were supposed to improve has been difficult to discern.* Amid criticism that New York City was setting the bar too low, the Department of Education released a list of targets struggling schools in the Renewal Program are expected to meet, The NewYork Times reports: 

The Daily News writes that the goals outlined in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to improve low-performing schools do not match the urgency conveyed in his rhetoric on the program, and his administration should be pushing for faster result

Faster, for the kids in fixing bad schools (NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio unveiled his Renewal Schools plans little more than a year ago with patented ambition, pledging his $400 million program to infuse 94 chronically struggling campuses with more support services and teacher development would transform teaching and learning. They argue that the targets the city has set are, in fact, ambitious — more ambitious than equivalent fix-it-or-shut-it-down goals set by the state. That doesn’t explain the gap between mayoral rhetoric and resources on one hand, and goals on the other. If the schools are getting loads of extra funding and support, that should deliver significant dividends in short order. That’s not all — the Renewal Schools goals were supposed to be “clear benchmarks,” Fariña has said, that schools had to meet or face serious consequences, including closure. But the city has yet to release the goals for attendance, test scores and more it sent each Renewal School in May. What details have emerged underwhelm. One school, MS 23 in Queens, is being required to raise its students’ average reading test scores by one hundredth of a level on a one-to-four scale, from 2.14 to 2.15, and its math scores from 2.03 to 2.12. And that’s after three years. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch rightly called that goal “ridiculous,” adding: “If you sit with persistent failure and you tolerate it, then by definition you are destroying the educational pathways for some kids.”

Bharara Finds 83% of the City's Schools No Fully Accessible for Americana's With Disabilities Act 
An investigation by US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office revealed that, 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, NYC is still not fully compliant, with some 83 percent of public elementary schools are not “fully accessible” to children with disabilities.* Bharara tweeted that his office has asked the city for a response, including an outline and timeline of corrective actions that will remedy this unacceptable state of affairs.

There’s another way. A growing pile of research shows the Bloomberg strategy of swiftly phasing out rotten schools and freeing kids to attend better ones paid academic dividends. The mayor attack s that approach as shutting schools “casually,” arguing that closureshould only happen “as a last resort — if necessary.” De Blasio has replaced a proven strategy with pie-in-the-sky promises and too-low, too-slow real-world expectations. 

Bill de Blasio’s ‘renewal’ plan barely pretends to fixfailed schools (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio’s scheme to turn around failed schools turns out to be even more pathetic than we’d thought. The new mayor and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, scrapped the Bloomberg policy of closing down schools where the kids don’t learn. Instead, they targeted (some) failures as “Renewal Schools,” giving them added funds and three years to turn around. Last month, Fariña told the City Council that Renewal isn’t open-ended: “I can’t afford to have a child be more than one or two years in a building where they are not going to get what they need,” she testified. Somewhat-tough talk — but last week we got a look at the reality, with the release of the city’s goals for the Renewal schools. In several cases, de Blasio and Fariña are “demanding” less success than a Renewal school is already delivering. Take the troubled Boys and Girls HS: Its four-year college-readiness index in 2014-5 was 10.1 percent. Its Renewal target for 2016-7? 8.4 percent. That means its college readiness could fall 17 percent. John Adams HS has a four-year graduation rate of 61.6 percent. The Renewal goal for next year is lower — 61.1 percent. In other words, de Blasio can’t even get serious about pretending he’s turning rotten schools into half-decent ones.

Silver Compartmentalized His Brain and the Media Compartmentalized the Effects of 421-a and Other Consequences of the Speaker's Corruption

Sheldon Silver ‘disappointed’ with guilty verdict but sources say he expects to win on appeal (NYDN) "He's normal Shelly," the one source said. "He's someone who has always been able to compartmentalize. A day after he's convicted he files for his state pension. He just goes about his business." * If former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is fretting about likely heading to prison he isn’t showing it to many around him. Sources close to Silver say he seems no different since a jury last week found him guilty on seven federal corruption counts, and is confident he’ll win on appeal.

Daily News Takes A Shot At Progressives and the UFT Machine 
Democrats vs.charters: Progressives are turning on an education movement that offers optionsand hope to many black and Latino families (NYDN) An idiot wind is blowing through the Democratic Party against an educational innovation championed by the last two Democratic Presidents — and it has swept up Hillary Clinton.After supporting charter schools for three decades, the party’s presidential front-runner suddenly gave voice to the baseless teachers union claim that the publicly financed, privately operated schools have rigged the game to show better results than traditional public schools.“Most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation,” Clinton asserted, drawing the equally false picture that charters are damaging prevailing schools.The unions, backing Clinton, see charters as the enemy because they educate more than 2 million children nationwide, largely with non-union staffs. In parroting the union line, Clinton goes to bat for the status quo rather than support the enhanced opportunities charters give children to escape underperforming schools.Aides say she looked at new evidence indicating that charters are cherry-picking smart kids and dumping difficult ones, none of which they produced. In fact, charters enroll kids via lottery.* A survey conducted by the Department of Education found support for the controversial Common Core standards. * Board Of Regents: Boost Education Aid By $2.4B(YNN) * NYC Public Schools Have Successfully Improved ArtsEducation: Report (NYO)*  The state Board of Regents discussed what will be a request for an additional $2.4 billion in state funding for education, pointing to a desire to help local school districts that can’t raise local property taxes any higher, the Times Union reports:   * Cuomo should not back down on education reform and should be willing to cut funds to schools as a way to force them to embrace a teacher evaluation system that allows good teachers to be rewarded, poor ones to be replaced and all students to flourish, Newsday writes * Newsday urges the governor to stay strong in the education reform battle, insisting students should take “reasonable, high-quality standardized tests, so progress can be measured,” and part of a teacher’s evaluation should derive from that process. * De Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina are wrong to balk at phasing out persistently bad high schools, and new research confirms this method worked under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Daily News writes: 

de Blasio Hiding Failed Schools
How de Blasio is hiding the failure of city schools
 (NYP) Mayor de Blasio today will hold yet another carefully choreographed event designed to obscure the real state of New York City schools. It’s unclear if attendees at tonight’s town hall...

Tish Going More Education Drifting 
Merryl Tisch to leave Board of Regents (NYP) She’s been a big booster of charter schools, and helped oversee the dramatic increase in the alternative, privately managed schools. Education reformers are worried that the state’s stop educational policy board will backtrack on the move for more rigorous standards and school choice with Tisch gone.Cuomo: Changes Coming To Education System (YNN)  * Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, will leave the board at the end of March after a tenure marked by broad changes and pushback to the Common Core standards, The New York Times reports:  * Merryl Tisch, Board of Regents Chancellor, Is Stepping Down (NYT)  Dr. Tisch, who has been New York State’s highest education official since 2009, announced she would leave at the end of her term in March.* A panel created by Cuomo to examine the Common Core education standards is set to hold its first public meeting tomorrow in New Rochelle, but you’ll have to act quick if you want to attend. (For the panel’s full schedule, click here).Thursday Update Cuomo names Common Core opponent to top education spot (NYP)Success Academy charter schools singled out students who they wanted to leave the network—allegations the organization and CEO Eva Moskawitz have repeatedly denied, The New York Times reports * Documents obtained by the New York Times show Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools suggest that some administrators in the network have singled out children they would like to see leave, and one school even maintained a “Got to Go” list of kids it wanted out.*  Eva Moskowitz said she will not fire the Success Academy principal who created the “got to go” list of struggling students he wanted to leave the school, as documented in a widely read New York Times article. *  .@MoskowitzEva:"We simply don't believe in throwing people on the trash heap for the sakeof public relations"(PoliticoNY) * Documents obtained by the New York Times show Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools suggest that some administrators in the network have singled out children they would like to see leave, and one school even maintained a “Got to Go” list of kids it wanted out. Saturday Charter head Moskowitz lashes out at ‘problem’ child report(NYP) School Safety  The number of suspensions at New York City public schools dropped 17 percent last year and the number of arrests made by school safety officers also dipped, The New York Times reports:  * The shrill debate over allegations that the Success Academy charter schools push disruptive students out ignores the more important discussion about the challenge of dealing with classroom disruptions that takes smarts and guts, Michael J. Petrilli writes in the Daily News:  *   NYC school suspensions down 17% from last year: officials (NYDN) *  Success Academy Founder Calls ‘Got to Go’ List an Anomaly (NYT) Eva S. Moskowitz, in response to a New York Times article about the list, said the charter school network did not have a practice of pushing out difficult students.
More on Common Core,Testing Debate

Education War Cuomo vs de Blasio  
Some How Results Were Left Out of Vanity Fair Story On de Blasio
The Post writes that the latest posturing on teacherevaluations by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch are a sign that New York will never have an evaluation system that identifies teachers who should be fired: A gift for the talented; test all pre-K kids for G&T (NYDN Ed)* 
In a stalemate that could ultimately test the Taylor Law, Buffalo teachers, working under what could be the longest expired school contract in state history, are close to exhausting all of their options for mediation.* State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said that improving the city’s struggling schools is a top priority for each of them — as long as the other holds up her end of the bargain for turning around schools. * State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia praised efforts by city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to fix trouble spots during a visit the pair made to a struggling Bronx middle school, the Daily News writes: * Charter school teachers’ rally cry: We ‘teach to end inequality’ (NYP)  Parents, teachers and others across New York now have a chance to register their opinions on the Common Core academic standards that form the underpinning of classroom lessons throughout the state.*  * New York City public school juniors will be able to take the SAT for free during the school day starting in the spring of the 2016-17 school year, a move to encourage more students to apply to college, the Times reports: * Urging Students to Apply to College, New York City Will Make SAT Free for Juniors (NYT)  The change, which Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Monday, is intended to encourage more students to apply to college.*NYC juniors won’t have to pay to take the SATs anymore (NYP)*   * A Brooklyn school district is taking proactive steps to avoid overcrowding after seeing “gentrification battles” caused by rezoning take place in Dumbo and other New York City neighborhoods, Gotham Gazette reports: 

New Front on the  Cuomo vs de Blasio Education War
Arroyo Takes A Timeout Stealing From Albany and Gambling at the Casinos to Work on Team Cuomo War Attacking de Blasio
Carmen Arroyo Rails Against NYC Schools Chancellor (YNN) Raising her voice and even slapping her hand on the table for emphasis, Arroyo was angered by what she saw as a lack of assistance for bilingual students and their families in city schools.* While discussing mayoral control of schools, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo contended New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is distributing funds as if she were Santa Claus, the Post reports:  *  NYC schools boss Carmen Fariña criticized over inadequatebilingual classes (NYDN) * NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña received a mouthful in Albany when Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo charged that the chancellor used taxpayer funds to dole out frivolous programs like “Santa Claus” while doing nothing to help bilingual students.*  While discussing mayoral control of schools, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo contended New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is distributing funds as if she were Santa Claus, the Post reports: 

Families for Excellent Schools held a pro-charter school rally in New York City that was nearly identical, in optics and in content, to four other demonstrations the group has held over the past two years, Politico New York writes: * Cuomo’s CommonCore Task Force is set to meet for the first time next week in New York City and members are expected to discuss and plan futurepublic sessions to be held around the state, Politico New York reports:  Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force is set to meet for the first time next week in New York City. The executive session will be closed to the public, but members are expected to discuss and plan future public sessions that will be held around the state, the governor’s office said.** As Cuomo convenes a panel to potentially overhaul the Common Core education standards, a group that backs them is holding roundtable discussions in hopes of turning down the temperature of the debate, State of Politics reports:  * A report from the Joint Commission on Public Ethicsdetails the biggest spenders in Albany lobbying for the first half of the year,with much of the money being spent on education agendas, State of Politicswrites:  * The City University of New York is unveiling a $42 million plan to boost graduation rates at its community colleges, which would transform Bronx Community College so that all students are part of an accelerated program designed to help them graduate in three years, the Daily News writes: * The state’s failure to properly designate four year-olds who attend preschool as “preshoolers” or “schoolkids” has thrown daycare facilities into turmoil, as the state Department of Health sets strict caps on the number of kids in each category a home daycare can accept, the Post writes:  *  New York should first send schools the $75 million in promised funding before undertaking a potential change to Common Core standards and implementing tough new rules on struggling schools, the Times Union writes:  *   New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia promised that change is coming in how students and teachers are evaluated, and asked school administrators for patience and input, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports: *   State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch called for potentially revamping a controversial law that allows student scores on Common Core tests to count for as much as half of teachers' and principals' job evaluations, Newsday reports: * Two hedge fund billionaires, Dan Loeb and Julian Robertson, in April dropped $1 million each on the controversial charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools, which had declined to name donors, the Daily News reports: 

John Flanagan: Charter schools play a critical role in New York (NYP) * The vast majority of school districts and teachers' unions seem to be having difficulty coming to an agreement on a new teacher evaluation system supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Politico New York writes:   * The Post writes that by breaking his agreement withcharter schools to have sites for eight new schools selected by today de Blasio is denying hundreds of underprivileged families a chance at quality education: * De Blasio keeps on snubbing charter schools (NYP) * Jennifer Hudson to join parents’ fight against school injustice (NYP) Of course, Wednesday’s rally is about far more than just the Success schools: It’s about system-wide injustice. The march comes in the wake of the Families for Excellent Schools report, “Tale of Two Cities,” which showed how the public-school system puts some kids on the track to failure from the day they enter kindergarten.* .@nycibo report: @NYCSchools have large homeless,special ed populations  * Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who has stayed out of the war over charter schools, has agreed to speak tomorrow at a massive pro-charter event at City Hall where he will defend the schools and declare, “Charters are here to stay.”* Long Island’s Assembly Republicans have become the reliable opposition to Cuomo when it comes to the Common Core academic standards and exams. They arguably have been more critical of the Democratic governor than any bloc in the state Legislature.*Lawmakers Hope For Second Look At Teacher Evaluations (YNN)*As Cuomo convenes a panel to potentially overhaul the Common Core education standards, a group that backs them is holding roundtable discussions in hopes of turning down the temperature of the debate, State of Politics reports:  * Four New York City school districts do not have a “gifted and talented” program for excelling students, which parents in these neighborhoods see as proof that resources aren’t distributed fairly, the Journal reports:*Cuomo is a big fan of task forces and commissions – the one created to conduct yet another review of the Common Core being the latest example of this.
Study says city’s racial achievement gap gets worse in college (NYP) * Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of breaking his pledge to find space for seven new elementary charter schools in time for them to open in August, The Wall StreetJournal reports:  * Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of breaking his pledge to find space for seven new elementary charter schools in time for them to open in August, The Wall StreetJournal reports:  * The definition of “proficient” on common core tests differs from state to state even if the test scores are exactly the same, adding to the frustration over the already controversial program, the Timeswrites:  * De Blasio and New York City Chancellor Carmen Farina must stop denying space to charters, putting taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in rent and open the doors wider for schools that have been proven to benefit students, the Daily News writes:  * Charter school says de Blasio ignored deadline for space (NYDN)* For tests given last spring under the new Common Core requirements, the description of the results come down to the different labels each state uses to describe the exact same scores on the same tests.*Charter-School Champion Clashes With de Blasio(WSJ)* Thousands rally in Brooklyn in support of charter schools (NYP) * Bronx Borough President Takes on de Blasio Over Charter Schools (NYO
Cuomo creates task force to fix Common Core ‘failures’(NYP) * 15,000 pro-charter protesters ready to rail against de Blasio (NYP) * Why this New York mom is marching for better schools (NYP) * The ‘racist’ ad that highlights injustice in NYC’s schools (NYP) So now it’s “racist” to point out the clear racial injustice in New York’s public schools. Leave it to Working Families Party co-founder Bertha Lewis and other allies of Mayor de Blasio to make that clear. Lewis is among those blasting a new TV ad by the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools. “They’re racist to the core. They know they are,” she says. * More than half of 4-year-old kids living in NYC shelters signed up for universal pre-K programs (NYDN) * Cuomo creates panel to 'overhaul Common Core' (NYDN) * A task force created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to review the state’s controversial Common Core standards will include a Buffalo parent advocate who was an early supporter of the learning benchmarks. Samuel Radford III is one of 15 people who will serve on the new panel, which is scheduled to report its findings in time for the governor’s State of the State address in January. Cuomo also called for fewer standardized exams, but gave no sign of rolling back his controversial initiative to tie test scores to school closings and teacher evaluations. * Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed a 15-member Common Core Task Force to overhaul the school standards, which will be spearheaded by former Citigroup Chair Richard Parsons, the New York Post reports:* Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed a 15-member Common Core Task Force to overhaul the school standards, which will be spearheaded by former Citigroup Chair Richard Parsons, the New York Post reports: * * The United Federation of Teachers contended charter schools were engaging in “nepotism” now that a state law allows them to reserve up to 15 percent of their enrollment for employees’ children, the Journalreports:  * Cuomo throws Common Core under the bus @Newsday * About 15,000 parents and students are expected to march across the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday and hand postcards demanding an end to “separate and unequal” schools to the mayor, thePost reports:  * The Journal’s William McGurn writes that progressive measures are being turned against de Blasio on education because the lack of equal access is most stark when it comes to education in the city: * After the tragic death this summer of an infant at an unlicensed Manhattan day care center, NYC Council members are pushing legislation to make it easier for parents to spot places operating illegally — and without proper training. * The feud between de Blasio and charter-school advocates heats up tomorrow as 15,000 parents and students hold a massive pro-charter rally in Brooklyn demanding higher-quality schools for all kids. * The new ability of New York charter schools to set aside seats for employees’ childrendrew fire from the United Federation of Teachers, which said such “nepotism” defied charters’ stated goals of serving the neediest children. * Where Black Lives Don’t Matter (WSJ)  A TV ad highlights the racial inequality of New York’s public school system. * Students: School hired us to fix computers — and never paid up (NYP) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force has people from a wide range of positions within the education system – parents, teachers, administrators – but, as usual, no student has been given a formal seat at the table, Gotham Gazette writes:  * Cuomo Announces Task Force to Overhaul Common Core Standards (NY1)* Graduation rates are lagging among low income students in New YorkWFP to Charter Schools Lobby: Take Down Your Ad andDebate Us (NYO) * Graduation rates are lagging among low income students in New York.* Flanagan wants to grill de Blasio before re-upping mayoral control (PoliticoNY)* Before the Republican-led Legislature votes to extend Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools, Flanagan wants him to answer some questions in public, Politico New York writes: * Diane Ravitch, an influential education researcher and Common Core critic, is criticizing Cuomo’s latest efforts to overhaul the controversial education standards, State of Politics writes:   * The Working Families Party penned a letter to Families for Excellent Schools, the powerful pro-charter schools group, demanding they take down a controversial TV ad and debate a WFP official, the Observer writes:  *  Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan this morning indicated his conference would continue to butt heads with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, especially over control of city schools. * Today was the deadline for 150 schools deemed to be “struggling” to submit plans to show they plan to improve. * In Canarsie, de Blasio and Fariña defend ‘renewal school’ label (PoliticoNY) *  Brooklyn school rezoning debate puts focus on de Blasio administration (PoliticoNY) * New York City leaders must acknowledge the problem of segregation in the city’s public schools – particularly at the elementary level – and start to work towards a solution, before one is imposed on them from the outside, Our Town writes: * Learn to learn together in Brooklyn schools (NYDN) * The de Blasio administration is redrawing zones for two public schools in downtown Brooklyn in a way that would smartly solve overcrowding in one and mix races in a deeply segregated public school system, the Daily News writes: * De Blasio’s new promise to make at least five AP classes available to students at all New York City high schools by 2020 will have a profound impact on minority students, Education Trust President Kati Haycock writes in theDaily News: * I support charter schools’: Bronx’s Diaz to speak at pro-charter event (NYP)
 Bill de Blasio ripped for preventing charter schools from using space in city buildings (NYDN)* NY voters differ on de Blasio controlling city schools (NYDN) * A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that while 65 percent of voters statewide believe standardized tests aren’t the best measure of how well a student is learning, they’re split 48-47 on whether opting out of tests, as 200,000 kids did this year, is the right thing to do. * Employees of Success AcademyNew York City’s largest charter school network, have been instructed to tell parents an upcoming rally organized by a well-funded charter advocacy group is “not political.”* An internal document shows the Success Academy is instructing its employees to tell parents an upcoming rally organized by a charter schools advocacy group is “not political” but “messaging assistance,” Politico New York reports: * E.J. McMahon blames the state’s high per-pupil spending on teacher pay. * Bill de Blasio broke his promise to care for all the city’s schoolkids (NYP) Charter-school leaders are furious at Mayor de Blasio for breaking his vow to treat all kids equally. But all New Yorkers should be outraged. The Coalition for Education Equality fired off a letter Monday to de Blasio decrying his “desertion of public charter school children,” despite his promise to care for “all” city kids — “district, charter, parochial.” The mayor “regularly” refuses to let charters use available space in public-school buildings, the group notes. And that hits minorities hard: “You are denying Black and Hispanic families the opportunity — and right — to send their children to a high-quality charter school,” it says.* Charter-schoolleaders are furious at de Blasio for breaking his vow to treat all kidsequally, but all New Yorkers should be outraged for continuing to deny charters available space in public-school buildings, the Post writes: * A new television advertisement produced for the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools accuses Mayor Bill de Blasio of forcing minority students into failing schools, Politico New York writes:  * ‘Racist to the Core’: Bill de Blasio Allies Blast New Charter Schools Ad (YNN) * Fariña’s chief-of-staff gets sizeable raise in just 18 months (NYP) The politically connected chief-of-staff to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña collected a hefty raise after just a year and a half on the job, The Post has learned. Records show that Ursulina Ramirez, who worked for Mayor de Blasio when he was public advocate, was hired by the Education Department in January 2014 at $163,000 a year. She now earns $187,190, a 15 percent hike after just 18 months. * Top officials in the New York City Department of Education have received substantial raises, including Ursulina Ramirez, who worked for the mayor when he was public advocate and received a 15 percent pay hike, the New York Post reports: * Top officials in the New York City Department of Education have received substantial raises, including Ursulina Ramirez, who worked for the mayor when he was public advocate and received a 15 percent pay hike, theNew York Post reports  * Moskowitz defends charter ad in memo to staff (PoliticoNY) * Parsons To Lead Common Core Task Force (YNN)
As the UFT Fails Black and Latino Students They Do Great for the Pols
Pols Ignore DOE Failure and Grade Fixing Because They Depend on the UFT for Campaign $$$ to Get and Stay Elected

Mix, match, learn byintegrating city public schools (NYDN Ed) Yet the city, like the nation, remains plagued by a gap in student performance measured on the basis of race. More than 50% of the city’s white and Asian school kids in grades 3 through 8 passed this year’s state English tests. Fewer than 20% of the city’s black and Latino kids did. In fact, the so-called achievement gap widened this year compared with last.* Parents doing anything to keep kids out of ‘dangerous’ city school (NYP) arents on the waiting list for a popular Upper West Side elementary school are refusing a city directive to send their incoming kindergartners to a nearby school that the state has branded “persistently dangerous.” The city Department of Education has told about 45 families zoned for PS 199 on West 70th Street that the high-performing school has no room for their kids — and to enroll them instead at low-performing PS 191 on West 61st Street. Disappointment turned to outrage when the state Education Department posted its 2015-16 list of the most dangerous schools. The state cited 97 “violent and disruptive” incidents at PS 191 in 2013-14. These include four sex offenses, two arsons, 12 assaults with physical injury (four with weapons), 10 cases of bullying (eight with weapons), and dozens of “minor altercations.” * Take a look at this article today in DNAInfo. This article illustrates a primary reason for the urgent need for improved middle schools in Brooklyn District 13. 10% of the “persistently dangerous” middle schools in all of New York State are in D13. (BrooklynRob)

 NYC mayor to announce that within 10 years, all of city'spublic schools will be required to offer computer science (NYT) * Tisch: Board of Regents to create teacher rating appeal panel (PoliticoNY)* New York City investigates 10 cases of teachers tampering with test scores (NYDN) * Cuomo also said he is fine with establishing an appeals process for teachers who don’t think they got a fair shake in their year-end evaluations and said he believes in having an evaluation system, but that it should be fair, the Times Union writes:  * The New York State United Teachers union and the Alliance for Quality Education are planning to protest against education reform advocate Campbell Brown’s appearance at the state Business Council’s annual meeting, State of Politics reports:   * In violation of an April state Supreme Court decision ordering the New York City Department of Education to allow access to School Leadership Team meetings, the DOE continues to order principals to bar the public and press, City Limits reports:   Thursday Changes in Teacher Evaluations  New York teachers can now appeal poor evaluations (NYP)  * The mayor’s pathetic prescription for saving the city’s schools (NYP Ed) * BILL'S LONG GAME: A welcome boost in school spending will enhance learning, in time (NYDN) * * New York’s standardized tests for third through eighth graders will be shortened this year, the latest retooling of exams that have grown so unpopular that 20 percent of children sat them out, The New York Times writes:   * Teachers and principals whose job performance is rated low because of aberrations in the state evaluation system now have expanded rights of appeal under regulations approved by the Board of Regents, Newsday reports: * De Blasio framed a new $186 million plan to help struggling schools as a way to address income inequality, but questions remain about how these programs will work and their impact on the school system, theTimes reports: * * De Blasio’s plan to boost school spending is a boon, but his 10-year timeline is disappointing and he and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña need to set shorter-term benchmarks to better track progress, the DailyNews writes:  * In an excerpt in the Post of her speech to the BusinessCouncil, education advocate Campbell Brown says de Blasio’s education plan will not create a more equitable system until he makes more fundamental changes: * Teachers and principals whose job performance is rated low because of aberrations in the state’s controversial evaluation system now have expanded rights of appeal under regulations approved by a divided Board of Regents. * bBy adding language to change the regulations, the board is kicking part of the evaluation program back to the Legislature, whose members approved it last spring after Gov. Andrew Cuomo inserted it into the state budget. * New York State’s standardized tests for third through eighth graders will be shortened this year, the education commissioner said – the latest retooling of a group of exams that have grown so unpopular that 20 percent of eligible children sat them out this past spring * As protesters denounced her as a “puppet for billionaires,” former TV news anchorCampbell Brown pitched the state’s largest business group on her lawsuit against teacher tenure, imploring them to support charter schools and do more to take on the teachers unions who mocked her in effigy.* In the vision laid out by de Blasio, all New York City schools will offer computer-science education by 2025, and all high-school students will have access to at least five Advanced Placement courses by the fall of 2021. The cost of de Blasio’s programs is high, and the political risks are great. Republicans in the state Legislature are already skeptical of the mayor’s approach to education, and the results of his new programs will not be known for years. Millions of public dollars that could be used to help children in the classroom are now being spent on overtime for civil service workers, unregulated credit card purchases and administrative costs to oversee grant programs, according to an auditor’s review of the Buffalo School District’s budget.* Fixing’ New York’s tests to please the teacher unions (NYP) * New York City Councilman Daniel Garodnick and budget watchdogs have questioned the city’s decision to extend a school bus grant program that subsidizes experienced bus drivers, Politico New York reports: * Judge continues NYteachers' free speech suit about testing. * City students aren’t advanced enough for de Blasio’s new plan (NYP) * The folly of teaching computer science to high school kids (NYP) Well the good news is that the test scores of New York City public-school students are up this year from last. The bad news is that still barely a third of them passed math or reading tests. And that’s despite the fact that a number of teachers have been accused of tampering with test scores. So what should we do? Teach everyone computer science! * Average NYC school janitor makes $109K a year (NYP) * A group of education advocates from StudentsFirstNY spent the first days of classes trying to mobilize parents at the city’s 100 worst-performing schools, saying de Blasio’s recently unveiled agenda is not enough. * Would New York’s Common Core educational standards generate as much ire if we started calling them the Excelsior Standards? Or the Empire State College- and Career-Ready Standards? Those in the branding industry say changing New Yorkers’ minds will take much more. * Gov. Cuomo reachesout to teacher unions (NYDN) Top Cuomo aide James Malatras recently met in Albany with city teacher union President Michael Mulgrew, officials from the state teachers union, and new state Education Commissioner MaryEllen(CQ) Elia to discuss enacting an appeals process for a tough teacher evaluation system Cuomo pushed through earlier this year, sources said. Two weeks after the meeting, the state Board of Regents enacted a new appeals process—a move Cuomo publicly supported. * De Blasio's education plan doesn't help NYC's worst schools (NYDN) * Mayor's pre-K push has caused an exodus of experiencededucators from early childhood centers: (DNAINFO) * A Quinnipiac University poll found 48 percent of New Yorkers believe students should be permitted to opt out of standardized tests, and 47 percent believe they should not be allowed to do so, State of Politics reports:    * A state report given to the Board of Regents found three-quarters of New York high school students failed the more rigorous Common Core algebra standards last year, the Post reports:  * A coalition of charter school operators – including Eva Moskowitz – penned an open letterto de Blasio today accusing him of deserting students in their schools. * TV anchor-turned-education-advocate Campbell Brown’s website, The Seventy Four, pays well, and also got help from an anti-tenure group, according to its tax filings.* A coalition of charter school operators–including Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz–penned an open letter to de Blasio accusing him of deserting students in their schools, theObserver writes:  *

A Tale of Two School Systems
Schools for scandal:The city's school system is actually two systems, offering dramaticallydifferent quality to different students (NYDN)  The nation’s largest school district is effectively two separate systems — one for Asians and relatively well-to-do white children, the other for mostly low-income black and Hispanic children. The study, from the pro-charter education reform organization Families for Excellent Schools, crunches numbers and finds 141 campuses at the elementary, middle and high school level, serving about 116,000 students, where at least 60% of kids meet state standards — and just 45% of students hail from low-income families. Meantime, there are 850 schools, serving nearly half a million kids — nine out of 10 of whom are black or Hispanic, and 89% of whom are low-income — where 30% or fewer students meet academic standards.

Another Education Distraction
If You Cannot Improve the Student's Reading Level, Your Announce Historic New Education Programs
New York'seducation standards are getting a name change.(NY1) * De Blasio to Announce 10-Year Deadline to Offer Computer Science to All Students (NYT) Meeting the requirement set by Mayor Bill de Blasio for New York public schools will present major challenges, mostly in training enough teachers.* De Blasio revamping reading, computer science at city schools (NYP) * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to announce today that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students, with $81 million to be spent on the program, The New York Times reports:  * De Blasio will also unveil a $15 million plan to provide personal guidance counselors for 16,000 at-risk students under a “Single Shepherd” program to help them finish high school and go to college, the DailyNews reports:

A Tale of Two de Blasio's Park Slope Education Standards and Achievement 

PS 321 is located at 7th Ave. and 1st St. The student body is 73% white, 7% black and 9% Hispanic. Nine percent of kids are eligible for free lunch. The newly released state test results showed 76% of PS 321’s students scoring proficient in English, and 82% in math. PS 282 is less than 10 minutes away at 6th Ave. and Berkeley Pl. Mapped into an adjoining district and widely shunned by the immediate, predominantly white neighborhood, the school draws from a broader zone and has a student body that’s 7% white, 68% black and 22% Hispanic. Fifty-seven percent of its kids are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. On the tests, only 28% of PS 282’s students scored proficient in English, 29% in math. Both are below the city average.

UFT and State File Lawsuit Against Teacher Tenure 
Teachers union bids to have anti-tenure suit thrown out (NYP) The teachers union and state officials argued Tuesday that a lawsuit challenging New York’s tenure policy should be tossed because Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature approved a new law tightening teacher accountability. “We live in a different world ­today than when this action was filed,” said Assistant State Attorney General Steven Banks. Cuomo and lawmakers approved in April a tougher tenure law that more closely links teacher job ratings to the test scores of their students. The new law also awards tenure after four years instead of three. * WHOSE EDUCATION: Inequality in education is widening under Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose policies are failing black and Hispanic students, writes Della Brave in City & State: * Judge hears oral arguments to dismiss teacher tenure case (PoliticoNY) *   NYC’s charter schools to house a staggering 95,000 students (NYP) About 95,000 kids will attend 207 New York City charter schools this fall, more than in many other large US cities, officials said Wednesday.* The New York City Charter School Center said about 95,000 students will attend classes in city charter schools this fall, but another 42,600 pupils remain on waiting lists for charter schools, the Post reports:  De Blasio caught trying to cheat charters of school space (NYP)  The de Blasio administration violated state law by refusing to guarantee space to new and expanding charter schools — leading the schools to file appeals that they won in almost every single case, records show. Forty-five charters filed appeals with the state after being turned down for “co-location” space in city-owned buildings. In 44 of the 45 cases, the state education commissioner ruled in their favor, a Post review revealed. *   Late 111 times, teacher keeps his job: It’s never about the kids (NYP) * Forty-five charter schools filed appeals with the state after being denied the ability to co-locate campuses in traditional New York City public schools and 44 of them received rulings in their favor, the Post reports: * A lawsuit that could result in nearly $5 billion in funding for New York State schools is one step closer to conclusion, with the two sides agreeing to streamline the process and avoid going to trial. * Teacher who was late 111 times says he was eating breakfast (NYP) * Charter Schools: City Failing to Provide Classroom Space (NY1) * The Post writes that New York City schools are a tale of two cities, with schools filled with mostly white and Asian students vastly outperforming schools filled with students of color, saying that at a minimum less-fortunate children should be given more choices: * Fariña: Longer school days not key to better performances (NYP) * State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia worked to downplay fears prompted by her recent comments calling the decision to have students opt out of standardized testing “something that is not reasonable” and her outreach to SED attorneys about whether there are any legal avenues to work against the boycotts.

After the Campaign Once Pols In Elected Office Students From First To Ignored and Passed Along

Charter groups praise exam results, criticize de Blasio (PoliticoNY) City charters outperform district schools in math * * Twenty percent of third through eight graders did not take at least one of the state’s standardized tests this year, a sign of increasing resistance as states make tests more difficult, The New York Times reports:  * New York City students made modest gains on math and reading exams in 2015, with 35.2 percent of students meeting math standards and 30.4 percent meeting reading standards,the Daily News reports: * The New York State United Teachers union said the test scores released today were poorly developed and too many students opted out of them for their results to point to any conclusions, Gannett Albany reports:  * De Blasio praises state exam scores, plays down opt out (Politico) * 
20% of New York State Students Opted Out of Standardized Tests This Year (NYT) Just 31 percent of third through eighth graders passed state reading tests and 38 percent passed math, both slight improvements from last year.* UFT President Michael Mulgrew writes that New York Cityschools recent test score increase, although incremental, is much more positive than rapid gains under the Bloomberg administration that were smoke and mirrors: *   Test results don’t jive with de Blasio’s ‘educational change’ (NYP) Mayor de Blasio boasted on Wednesday that his administration is “changing the status quo of education” — after the state released 2015 test scores that showed only incremental city gains in math and English. In English, just 30.4 percent of kids in Grades 3 to 8 scored as proficient — a gain of 2 percentage points over last year’s feeble pass rate of 28.4 percent. The gains in math were 1 percentage point — from 34.2 to 35.2 percent. They noted that despite modest improvements, one-third of students in Grades 3 to 8 — or roughly 134,000 kids — are still scoring below grade level on each of the exams. “When more than two-thirds of students aren’t being taught to read and write on grade level, you have to question who this system is designed to serve,” said StudentsFirstNY director Jenny Sedlis. “Incremental gains are not going to cut it.”*Editorial: Too slow for N.Y.’s good (NYDN Ed) * Test Results Reignite Political Debate Over Education Policy (YNN) * A large number of students opting out of New York state exams – about 220,000 or 20 percent, up from 5 percent in 2014 – raises doubt about the validity of the results and may make them unsuitable to evaluate teachers or schools, according to a Syracuse University professor. * New York charter school advocates praised the sector’s performance on state English and math exams and criticized NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for what they called district students’ lackluster performance on the tests. * The statistical model the state Education Department uses to evaluate teacher performance is inaccurate and unreliable, an attorney argued yesterday in state Supreme Court in Albany, in a case believed to be the first of its kind challenging New York’s law on educator job ratings. More here.* When 20 percent of eligible students opted out of the state’s standardized tests this year, they also created a significant setback for the educational accountability movement, which has sought to use data to track progress on all levels, the Times reports:  * The high opt-out numbers in this year’s state tests is an ill-conceived boycott that could damage educational reform – desperately needed in poor and rural communities – and undermine the Common Core standards, theTimes writes:

Less City Schools on the City's Dangerous List But Test Scores Still Very Low
NYC schools on the state’s ‘dangerous’ list decreased (NYP) The number of New York City public schools deemed dangerous by the state has fallen sharply. Of the 32 schools the state Education Department included in its “persistently dangerous” list for the latest academic year, 27 were based in the Big Apple. That’s down from the previous academic year when a record 39 of the 42 schools statewide on the annual list were in the city. The latest tally is also a steep decrease from two years ago when 40 city schools made the cut out of 47 statewide. But in the 2012-13 school year, there were only 25. * TOO SLOW FOR NEW YORK'S GOOD: Student test scores show modest gains and far too many lagging (NYDN) * New York schools with high numbers of students who opted out of the state’s standardized exams may face penalties from state and federal officials, including withholding Title I funding, The New York Times reports:
* Of the 32 schools the state Education Department included in its “persistently dangerous” list for the latest academic year, 27 were in New York City, down from a record 39 of the 42 schools statewide last year, thePost writes* A drastic increase this year in the number of students sitting out New York’s standardized exams has created another kind of test, one for state and federal education officials who must decide whether to punish school districts with low participation rates. And it is far from certain that they will.* Test-Refusal Movement’s Success Hampers Analysis of New York State Exam Results (NYT) With 20 percent opting out this year, some statisticians say it is hard to determine whether students improved over all from last year.*Assistant principal ‘helped’ students cheat on Regents (NYP) An assistant principal at John Adams HS in Ozone Park, Queens, is accused of helping students on a Regents exam — on which nearly everyone in the class got almost all the answers correct, The Post has learned. The alleged test tampering last summer — and more suspicious Regents results in January — came to light only after a whistleblower sent an anonymous letter in April to New York state’s top education official, Merryl Tisch, who referred it to the city. It’s the latest of several cheating scandals among 94 low-performing “Renewal” schools that Mayor de Blasio vows to fix with an extra $400 million over three years. In addition, the state Education Department has designated John Adams “out of time,” meaning it must take drastic action to improve. An assistant principal at John Adams HS in Ozone ParkQueens, is accused of helping students on a Regents exam after a whistleblower sent state Regent Chancellor Merryl Tisch an anonymous letter, who then referred it to the city * The opt out numbers for the state standardized tests show it’s time for school boards, administrators and teachers to devise evaluation plans that everyone can live with and time for parents to teach kids they have an important role in this and not to opt out, the Times Union writes * One of the most effective ways to close the racial achievement gap in New York City is to desegregate schools by integrating housing through the mayor's affordable housing plans, and is an achievable goal because of the city's galloping gentrification, the Hechinger Report’s Sarah Garland writes in the Daily News:  * The Post writes that New York City’s 27 percent of schools deemed “persistently dangerous” is a mark of the failure of a school system that should be a shame for New Yorkers and people across the nation:  The Times Union writes that low test scores and high opt-out rates provide an opportunity to make drastic changes and concentrate on figuring out a way to effectively educate the state’s children:

Cuomo's Education Commission Taking Steps to Put Troubled Schools Into Receivership
A principal’sprinciples: State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia charts the tough,necessary path for struggling public schools (NYDN Ed) Chancellor Carmen Fariña needs to follow MaryEllen Elia’s lead and use new authority to overhaul staff at more than 60 campuses where students are treading water or sinking. Consistent with important new state powers granted under Gov. Cuomo’s budget agreement this year, Elia announced that 144 underperforming schools across New York, including 62 in the city, will enter receivership.Fifty-five of those designated as “struggling” are on two-year clocks to show substantial progress in student achievement. Seven designated as “persistently struggling” have the clock compressed to just one year. * Before her death in April, a Harlemprincipal said she had forged test answers, the Dept. of Education said today: (NYT) * Harlem Principal Said She Forged Test Answers, Education Dept. Says(NYT) * Principal who committed suicide ‘forged’ student exams (NYP) * Queens Native Donates $8.5M to Success Charter Schools * Success Academy Charter Schools, the controversial and fast-growing network of sought-after charter schools, announced that it had received an $8.5 million gift to open new schools in New York Citythe Times reports:   * Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s influence over city schools remains strong because those promoting his agenda have become a powerful force in Albany, the Times reports:

Common Core Test Scandal Leads to Principal Suicide 
DOE Covered Up the Focus of the School's Test Cheating After the Suicide Blames the Principal
Principal commits suicide amid Common Core test scandal (NYP) The principal of an innovative West Harlem public school killed herself the day after her students took the state Common Core exams — which were later tossed out because she cheated, The Post has learned. 17, police said. Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, 49, of Teachers College Community School, jumped in front of a B train in the 135th Street station on St. Nicholas Avenue on April. Parents were shocked and saddened to learn Worrell-Breeden died but were given no details at the time. It was rumored she was killed in a car crash. Parents were in for another shock in June. Superintendent Gale Reeves told them in a meeting that all the third-grade English exams had been “red-flagged” and “invalidated.”  “Principal Worrell-Breeden was the subject of allegations of testing improprieties,” spokeswoman Devora Kaye said. “An investigation substantiated these allegations, and we closed the investigation following her tragic passing.” Kaye would not say how Worrell-Breeden allegedly tampered with the tests. Parents grew frustrated. No one from the city Department of Education or the state Education Department, which administers the exams, answered questions. 

Who Was the Investigating Principal Worrell-Breeden Until Her Suicide?  Did the DOE Mishandle Its Investigation?  
They asked for help from politicians, including Assemblyman Keith Wright, whose staff also hit a wall. On Friday, the DOE blamed the dead principal. “was the subject of allegations of testing improprieties,” spokeswoman Devora Kaye said. “An investigation substantiated these allegations, and we closed the investigation following her tragic passing.” Worrell-Breeden got the job despite a scandal at her former school, PS 18 in The Bronx. In 2009, the special commissioner of investigation for city schools found she had clocked in for overtime pay while working out with a personal trainer three times a week in the school gym. Her time card “disappeared” after investigators visited the school. The probe found she altered her time card and coerced subordinates to say she had offered them hundreds of OT hours first — as required — before taking them herself.  * This tragedy should lead to independent probe of thisschool and entire NYC Ed system. Pols have to stop spinning. 

“de Blasio's DOE Scrubbing” Grades to Keep the School Open
“I am here today because I am you and you are me,” Fariña told graduates at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School as she delivered her first commencement speech Friday. “I started school where teachers told me I wasn’t as good as other children who were American. That was a long time ago in New York City. No one would get away with (that) today. Not on my watch,” the daughter of immigrants from Spain said.* De Blasio Touts Success at Boys and Girls High School Graduation (DNAINFO) The mayor was a special guest speaker for the ceremony at one of the city's 94 long-struggling schools. * As Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Renewal" programrolls out for struggling schools across the city, Chalkbeat's Patrick Wall takes a deep dive into the challenges faced by one Brooklyn high school and the students and teachers fighting to succeed there:(DKBD)
Dumbing Down Journalism 
How Local TV News Make Millions Rehabilitating Candidates and Cleaning Up Policies Harmful to the Public
Blasting the Press, de Blasio
Bubble Mayor No Town Hall de Blasio Spins and the NYC Press Defining Journalism Down

To de Blasio School Control is More About 2017 Re-election Politics Than Education
School’s out forsome (NYDN Ed) He Who Grants School Holidays, who recently handeth down two days off for Muslim holy days, hath proclaimed that students and teachers will also now get Lunar New Year off. So Mayor de Blasio, flanked by community leaders, announced this week. The mayor didn’t make the case the way he should have — by arguing that too many students and teachers are absent to enable schools to function on that day.@deBlasioNYC NYC spending has gone up more than 20% in past 5 years alone from $63B in 2010 to $78.5 this year! Crazy.

Sunday: City Fixing Tests to Improve Scores Monday: de Blasio That is Historical 

Monday Update: de Blasio Grade Fixing is Normal
De Blasio downplays grade-fixing scandal (NYP)  Grade-fixing is just business as usual in struggling city schools, Mayor de Blasio said Sunday. “This is something that we have seen consistently over the years,” de Blasio said when asked about theexclusive story in Sunday’s Post involving five studentsat Automotive HS in Brooklyn who had their failing Regents scores switched to passing grades. “Again, this is a process that is done from time to time. It is not an unusual process,” he said.  “It’s something that is within the normal approach of our school system. I think it should be looked at in that context of history, that this is something that’s been done consistently when there’s a specific situation that calls for it.” David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY GraduateCenter education professor, pointed out the mayor was “misreading” history.*  City didn’t tell state it changed grades for failing high school students (NYP) The city Department of Education failed to tell the state that it changed Regents exam scores at Automotive HS in Brooklyn, officials say. his was caught by The Post. It raises the question — what hasn’t been caught?” asked Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield. The city DOE said 379 of 155,000 Regents exams given in January were re-scored. Of 32 appeals at Renewal schools, “about half” the scores increased and half decreased, education officials said. But schools appeal with one goal — to boost scores, Bloomfield said. * Most NYC high school graduates at CUNY need remedial classes (NYP) * State exams show @MoskowitzEva’s charter-school network @SuccessCharters is yielding the right results. #50PowerWomen

“The history was to inflate scores,” he said. “With high stakes for both the student and the school, it became a system-wide policy.” In 2011, the state officially banned grade “scrubbing,” or giving passing scores to students who almost made the cut. But Automotive HS is one of the city’s 94 low-performing “Renewal” schools, which the city has vowed to turn around by flooding them with funding. * Dozens of NYC high schools sought to have students’ Regents scores scrubbed this year — and now other kids are complaining about the state’s tough new algebra exam administered last week. * Cuomo Not A Fan Of Education Department, Tisch Says (YNN) * StudentsFirstNY, a pro-charter group, has given de Blasio failing grades in his efforts to improve city schools, according to a new report.

City ‘fixes’ failing grades for high school students (NYP) How do you fix a failing high school? Change the grades. Under pressure to boost student achievement, the state-designated “out of time” Automotive HS has resorted to rigging Regents exam scores.  The failing scores of five students who took the Regents in January were switched to passing scores of 65 or higher on their transcripts, the city Department of Education has confirmed. One junior saw his scores upped to pass two exams required for graduation — Living Environment (biology) and algebra — even though he had failed both classes. The student insisted he deserved a break on the exams because “I studied my ass off.” In 2011, the state banned “scrubbing” — the practice of re-scoring tests that fall just short of passing. In 2013, the DOE tried to fire a teacher who raised the scores of five students on a Regents physics exam. In 2014, city scores plummeted after a new rule barred teachers from grading tests given at their own schools. Now, the city has sanctioned it. “This is Scrubbing Part 2,” a veteran educator said of the Automotive HS score changes. “The teachers used to do it. Now it’s the administrators.” *Teaching in New York these days is like working the assembly line inModern Times  * Did you know teachers who score standardized exams in NY hadto sign agreements that they wouldn't discuss the tests?  (NYT) * A new law will allow teachers and administrators to discuss some test questions on standardized examinations, but only those publicly revealed. *  Both sides are claiming victory in the fight over strengthening charter schools in New York.

Anyone Notice the Different Standard the Media Used In Covering the Bloomberg ad de Blasio Administration on Education
Having No Plan to Turn Around Failing Schools Chancellor Spins Accomplishments
EXCLUSIVE: SchoolsChancellor Carmen Fariña touts accomplishments in her first academic year(NYDN) More than 53,000 city kids attended pre-K for the first time this year, Fariña said. The veteran educator also touted the implementation of a new teachers’ contract, with more training and longer parent conferences and the creation of dozens of community school programs with expanded social services. “We’re building the foundation,” Fariña told The News. “I think we’ve done a lot of work in just a year.” The stakes are high. Just 29% of students in the city’s 1,800 public schools scored at grade level on recent state reading tests.

Schools to Close On Lunar New Year
Mayor de Blasio to Make Lunar New Year a School Holiday (NYT) The move would allow New York’s Asian families to celebrate an important day with their children without harming attendance records.* The de Blasio administration is expected today to add the Lunar New Year to the New York public school calendar, allowing the city’s Asian families to celebrate an important holiday with their children without tarnishing attendance records.

Education Saturday Updates

New York’s never-ending teacher-evaluation farce (NYP) * English Class in Common Core Era: ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Court Opinions (NYT) The standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states, mandated many changes to traditional teaching, but one of the most basic was a call for students to read more nonfiction. * De Blasio Prods Graduates to Challenge Injustice (and Son to Take a Joke) (NYT)  In a highly personal speech, Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed his son’s graduating class, offering emotional guidance to parents and challenging seniors to “not stand idly by” amid inequality.De Blasio looks to restore higher wages for school-bus drivers (NYP) * New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has asked federal authorities to investigate possible collusion by school bus companies after an audit found poor oversight of $94 million in contracts, the Post writes: 

Press Releases Put Lipstick On Failing Schools 
The Post writes that politicians need to drop a “lipstick-on-a-pig” approach to New York City’s failing schools and notes that the de Blasio administration has not yet implemented an hour of extra instruction at these schools: * New Education Commissioner Brings Blunt Style to Tough Job (WSJ)  MaryEllen Elia, appointed as the next New York state education commissioner, said she hopes to establish more collaborative relationships between all parties. * US Census Bureau reported that NY is inching up towards $20k per pupil school spending. Little bang for the buck!  New state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia brings a blunt style to a tough job. She once pushed teachers to wear special blinders to simulate the spotty vision of her son, Albert, who suffered from a degenerative eye disease, in order to get them to better understand his needs. * The Staten Island Advance is 100 percent behind extension of mayoral control in New York City* In a rebuke to de Blasio, his own Panel for Educational Policy has refused to allow a charter school to open inside an under-utilized middle school in Brooklyn, the Post reports: * In a rare break with de Blasio, United Federation ofTeachers president Michael Mulgrew said he doesn’t support mayoral control of the schools in its current form, the Daily News writes:* Black students are more likely to get ‘ineffective’ teachers: report(NYP) * The federal government intends to deny a request from the state Education Department to test students with disabilities based on their developmental level rather than their chronological age. * School districts could get a four-month waiver to delay the Nov. 15 deadline to implement new teacher evaluations after a Board of Regents subcommittee approved the change, Gannett Albany reports: * A report from Common Cause/NY finds that although charter school supporters have been outspent during the past decade by teachers unions, charter supporters greatly outspent labor last year, the Times Union reports:  * Uh oh kids! App tells parents when students are playing hooky (NYP)

George de Blasio to Charter Schools 
"It My Panel Not Me" 
The Post writes that despite de Blasio’s public statementsabout supporting some charter schools his choices for the Panel for Education Policy show he is not serious about the schools: * Education panel packed with de Blasio's appointees rejects mayor's charter plan (NYDN) * Editorial: Exercise control of your schools, Mayor de Blasio (NYDN) Some mayoral control — Mayor de Blasio has allowed a group of no-name appointees to go rogue in dictating school policy. He needs to lay down the law. State law gives the Panel for Educational Policy the power to review significant decisions by chancellors and mayors in order to ensure that neither has gone totally haywire. Otherwise, it was designed to defer to the two accountable officials, first the mayor, then the chancellor.* In a rebuke to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, his own Panel for Educational Policy has refused to allow a charter school to open inside an under-utilized middle school in Brooklyn.*A federal lawsuit file aims to block Bronx Success Academy 3 from co-locating at an under-used building shared by four other small schools, part of the larger fight to stop the expansion of the charter system, the Postwrites:

US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said New York “absolutely” should extend mayoral control over the city’s public schools.* Brooklyn is flooding the city with charter school applications (NYP) * Bill de Blasio’s empty praise for Mike Bloomberg’s school rule (NYP Ed)  New York City Schools Installing 21,000 Door Alarms (NYT)  The city is installing audible door alarms at public schools to prevent another tragedy like the disappearance and death of a student with autism in 2013. * New York City is installing 21,000 audible door alarms at public schools to prevent another tragedy like the 2013 disappearance and death of Avonte Oquendo, a student with autism, The Associated Press reports: * Seven members of the state Board of Regents are calling for delaying until September 2016 the rollout of toughened teacher evaluations approved two months ago by Cuomo and state lawmakers. * Half-Days Fill Final Stretch of New York’s School Year (NYT)  Quirks in the calendar can make it seem as though school is more off than on in June.* Groups spend more than $13 million to push education reforms (NYDN) Thursday Update Icahn charter school in line for $600K after city blows deadline (NYP) A Manhattan judge all but said Wednesday that she will award $600,000 to one of the lauded Carl Icahn charter schools because city officials blew a deadline to provide state-mandated space for its expansion. * Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha announced his resignation following months of trustee infighting amid a state probe, saying he would serve as a visiting scholar at Harvard, TheWall Street Journal writes:c * Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha announced his resignation following months of trustee infighting amid a state probe. He said he would leave at the end of June after four years as president and would serve as visiting scholar at Harvard University in the Graduate School of Education in the fall. * Why can’t Bill de Blasio manage to control the schools? (NYP) *  Cooper Union President Resigns (NYT)  Jamshed Bharucha announced his resignation amid infighting and an inquiry by the state attorney general into the management of the college’s finances.
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate, Education Attack

The Albany 9 Who Benefited from Private Education Not True to Their Schools
Be true to yours chool:
Assembly members who benefited from private education should support Gov. Cuomo's tax credit for scholarship funds (NYDN Ed)  Standing in the way of a much-needed boost for families struggling to afford private and parochial schools are nine New York City Democrats who ought to know better — because they benefited from alternatives to public education in their own lives. Assembly Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan of Queens is a graduate of St. Aloysius Catholic grammar school. Keith Wright of Harlem went to the Fieldston School in the BronxPeter Abbate of Brooklyn attended Regina Pacis Grammar School and Bishop Ford High School; Jeffrion Aubry of Queens, St. Gabriel School and St. Augustine High School; James Brennan of Brooklyn, Trinity School; Brian Kavanagh, Regis; Dan Quart of Manhattan, York Preparatory; Annette Robinson of Brooklyn, Holy Rosary School and Bishop McDonnell High School, and Sheldon Silver of Manhattan, Rabbi Jacob Joseph School. In spite of those backgrounds, the nine have opposed creating a tax break for donations to private-school scholarship foundations — as proposed by Gov. Cuomo and backed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, among many others.* A study by the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools found 40 percent of all kindergarten-eligible kids in eight public school districts in central Brooklyn tried to get into a charter this coming fall, the Post reports  * Opponents of the Education Investment Tax Credit are wrong to say it benefits the rich, as it aids only poor and middle-class children and public polls show lower income residents and minorities back the plan the most,the Post writes:  An Education Poll That Makes No Sense A majority of voters like Cuomo’s idea of giving out tax credits as part of his Parental Choice in Education Act, but disapprove of how he’s handling education policy, according to a Q poll released yesterday.

Silly NYP Would Make This A News Story and Not Connecting It to Budget Ethics Fight

NYC schools ‘removed’ 289 teachers — but only fired 9 (NYP) Nearly 100 of the roving substitute teachers took severance payments — averaging nearly $16,000 each — while an additional 118 resigned or retired, records show. Department of Education officials say an additional 53 teachers retired or resigned while facing disciplinary charges, meaning they can’t return to the system in the future. A dozen other teachers either missed required job interviews or had their probationary periods ended. *
Eric Schneiderman mulling run against Cuomo for governor (NYP)Democratic Party circles are abuzz with talk that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who forced Gov. Cuomo to retreat on his controversial e-mail destruction policy last week, is seriously considering challenging...Eric Schneiderman mulling run against Cuomo for governor (NYP)Democratic Party circles are abuzz with talk that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who forced Gov. Cuomo to retreat on his controversial e-mail destruction policy last week, is seriously considering challenging...Others promoting a possible Schneiderman primary challenge include a bevy of “progressive’’ Democrats associated with Mayor de Blasio and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, both on the outs with Cuomo — Fordham University prof Zephyr Teachout, who ran a surprisingly strong primary challenge to Cuomo last year, and union activists with the leftist Working Families Party, Democratic sources said. * Democratic activists from NYSUT and the UFT have reportedly given AG Eric Schneiderman “preliminary encouragement” to primary Gov. Andrew Cuomo should the governor seek a third term in 2018.* 'We deserve better teachers': Rookie educators with no credentials is the new norm at troubled NYC schools (NYDN) * New York's charter school defenders downplay teacher inexperience amid strong performance (NYDN) * NYC schools battle student poverty, homelessness and domestic abuse to create effective learning spaces (NYDN) * Cuomo pushes to reform NYC teacher evaluations to rid schools of bad apples (NYDN) * A bill before the Legislature would require school districts to clearly notify parents that they can opt out their children from the Common Core tests this year. The hope is that 200,000 to 250,000 children don’t take the test, forcing the Board of Regents to reopen the discussion about using the standards.* * A report from the union-backed Fiscal Policy Institute found that students living in poverty are the reason New York schools are failing, not under-performing teachers, Gannett Albany reports: * Progressive Group Takes Aim at Hedge FundManagers (NYO)The Daily News wraps up a series on New York City schools with guest columns by a Cuomo official, de Blasio, charter school executive Eva Moskowitz, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and others:* De Blasio to Borrow From CompStat Model forStruggling Schools ‘War Room’ (NYO)* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was critical of an effort being pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to have the state take over low-performing public schools, saying it could potentially lead to them becoming charter schools, State of Politicsreports: * Cuomo’s education policy proposals come right from the playbook of pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools, which dominated the 2014 election cycle, and now the billionaires behind it are getting what they paid for, The Nation reports:  *  Chris Smith in New York magazine writes that he thinks Cuomo sincerely wants to find ways to better educate the state’s students, which is why his confrontational approach has always seemed weirdly miscalculated: * The state Education Department’s role in approving new college degree programs has become a sticking point in the higher education portion of the state budget.* End this moral crisis: Black and Hispanics deserve justice (NYP Ed) Rubin Diaz, Sr.  On Thursday, nearly 100 black and Hispanic religious leaders, representing 650 churches, stood with me to call for an end to our state’s failing-schools crisis. It’s an epidemic that is quietly stealing possibility from New York’s black and Hispanic communities. * Giving kids the schools they deserve (NYP Ed) Corrupt DOE Contract Cancled The New York City Department of Education rescinded a $637 million contract for a private firm to provide computer services after advocates said the firm had been cited in a criminal probe, the Daily Newsreports: * The Times Union writes that the state has broken its promise to end the “shameful practice” of raising tuition at the State University of New York only to direct the extra money to itself: * THE NEWS SAYS: Political and educational leaders must end their feud and hear the pleas of students *Black and Hispanic college students in New York fared worse on new teacher certification tests than their white counterparts, new data show, reprising concerns that efforts to improve teacher quality could undermine a simultaneous goal to boost diversity. *  The union representing State University of New York professors said the state Education Department has failed to issue the passing or “cut” scores required for nearly half of their new tests, which aspiring K-12 teachers must take before they can become certified. * StudentsFirstNY, an education reform group that has been a major financial supporter of Cuomo, is launching a campaign led by parent activists to promote the governor’s controversial proposals to boost charter schools and overhaul the state’s teacher evaluation system and tenure laws.With help from the Citizens Budget Commission,Crain's has calculated a more accurate figure for the cost of the Department of Education's new and untested parent-engagement program than has been previously reported: 

As Albany Worries About Jail Delay Teacher Evaluations Again

Tish Wait on Teacher Evaluations  State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch wants to give school districts, including New York City's, another year to implement the state-mandated teacher evaluation system, the Daily News writes New York City families called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to allow more charter schools to be created, after an increase on the cap was dropped during the budget negotiations, the Daily News writes * Heastie, Nolan Back Delay In Evaluations For Districts (YNN) * State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch wants to give school districts another year to implement the state-mandated teacher evaluation system. She said Cuomo’s deadline of Nov. 15 for districts to approve the new system — which could tie 50 percent of instructor evaluations to student performance on standardized tests — is unrealistic.* Cuomo Counsel: Evaluation Delay Should Be ‘Exception, Not The Rule’ (YNN)* New York City Underreported School Violence to State, Audit Shows (NYT) An examination by the state comptroller of 10 schools found that almost a third of the violent episodes were not reported, as required.*City schools chancellor blasts the state’s teacher evaluations as imperfect rubric (NYDN)** New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, speaking to the Assembly Education Committee, panned the state’s new teacher evaluation system, saying a “one-size-fits-all” model won’t work, the Daily News writes:  * A New York City education panel signed off on a co-location proposal allowing the charter Success Academy to add middle-school grades to the JHS 145 building in the Bronxthe Post reports: * The State Senate may not extend mayoral control of New York City schools, let alone make it permanent, according to Sen. John Flanagan.* A review of violent episodes at 10 public schools in New York City found that the Education Department failed to report nearly a third of the cases to the state, as required,according to an audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office.

Albany Ignores Teacher Evaluations Law Just Passed
A new low for New York’s teacher-evaluation farce (NYP) New York’s teacher-evaluation farce hit a new low this week: Merryl Tisch, head of the state Board of Regents, on Wednesday kicked the can another year down the road. The new state budget directs Tisch and the State Education Department to set up a new evaluation system by the end of June. But she insists it can’t be done — or that local districts might fail to implement the plan by November, and so lose some state aid. So she ordered SED staff to find a way to move “the deadline for evaluation approval until Sept. 1, 2016 for districts facing hardships meeting the [Nov. 15] deadline.”

Lawmakers Spurred By Test Opt-Out Figures (YNN) State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch wants to give school districts another year to implement the state-mandated teacher evaluation system. She said Cuomo’s deadline of Nov. 15 for districts to approve the new system — which could tie 50 percent of instructor evaluations to student performance on standardized tests — is unrealistic. The Cuomo administration acknowledged that state education officials have the power to delay implementation of the evaluation system in some school districts, but warned they should use it sparingly. “The State Education Department and Chancellor Tisch should do their job properly and competently and enact the regulations governing the process by the end of June as prescribed by the law,” said the governor’s counsel, Alphonso David.* A coalition of parents’ groups that organized a boycott of state English and math exams is calling on Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch to resign, claiming she has left New York’s education policy in shambles. * Tisch’s call for a deadline extension in the new teacher evaluation system came only a few hours after an official memo from the Education Department to superintendents reiterated that school districts would have to negotiate their plans by Sept. 1 in time to receive approval by Nov. 15 and receive increases in state aid. * Regent Roger Tilles, who represents Long Island on the board, said the governor’s officeimplored members to use the hardship exemption only on a case-by-case basis. But the board is going to stand up to the administration, he said, adding: “I certainly think the Regents will have the back of anybody who needs the time.”* To ABNY, Cuomo Touts Education Reforms, Looks Ahead(YNN)* Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch said the state will create a system that allows schools to delay using new teacher evaluations if they can show the Nov. 15 deadline would impose a hardship, Gannett Albanyreports:* Meanwhile, Cuomo said the state tests used in the evaluations don’t impact students’ grades and that they can choose to opt out of the exams, but the tests offer them a chance to practice, the Times Unionreports: *The @UFT launcheshard-charging ad slamming @NYGovCuomoWatch here:  * Heastie: A ‘Macro Look’ At Testing In Schools (YNN)*Just weeks after signing into law a tight deadline for school districts to overhaul their new teacher evaluation systems, Cuomo said giving them more time “sounds totally reasonable.”

True News Trend 
Who Controls the Schools More Important Than Improving Them
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s counsel, Alphonso David, said that delaying teacher evaluations on the district level should reflect a “hardship that is genuine,” but acknowledged that there is a hardship exemption, State ofPoliticsreports: * As the standardized testing debate rages on, a copy of the state’s English Language Arts test that students took last week was leaked online in an apparent act of sabotage by anti-testing activists, the Postwrites: * Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver continues to lead the School Overcrowding Task Force, despite losing his speakership and his ongoing legal troubles. “I look forward to being more productive as we go forward,” he told participants at a recent meeting.* State education officials will hold an invite-only “learning summit” on the new teacher- and principal-evaluation system on May 7 in Albany.* New YorkGrants Extension for Teacher Evaluation Phase-In(WNYC) * School Leadership Meetings Are Open to the Public, Judge Says (NYT) Every public school in New York City is required to have a School Leadership Team, made up of a mix of faculty and parents, including the principal and the chapter leader of the teachers’ union. * Only Alternative for Some Students Sitting Out Standardized Tests: Do Nothing (NYT)  The anti-testing movement is targeting districts that require students not taking the exams to remain quietly in their classrooms and, as opt-out advocates have labeled it, “sit and stare.” Friday Anti-testing parents want Regents Chancellor ousted (NYP)* A coalition of parents’ groups that organized a boycott of state English and math exams is calling on Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch to resign, claiming she has left New York’s education policy in shambles, the Postreports:   Tisch’s call to delay the new teacher evaluation system gives teachers unions nearly a year to find more ways to prevent the state from implementing a comprehensive evaluation system * Officials to review state exams after errors found: Fariña (Capital)*The Alliance for Quality Education, which is allied with the United Federation of Teachers, launched a campaign questioning state senators for directing $25 million in state aid to charter schools, the Post reports

Ratings Abuse: No Teacher Left Behind
Cuomo Fights Rating System in Which Few Teachers Are Bad (NYT) Less than 1 percent of teachers in New York State were rated ineffective over all, and principals’ evaluations are often responsible for the high scores.

Dumbing Down Test Produce Higher State Scores 
State scrubs exam questions — too many students didn’t answer (NYP) The axed essay question, called a “constructive response,” aimed to gauge a prime goal of the Common Core standards — whether students think critically and write cohesively, citing evidence from a text to support their ideas. “They produced a defective product, and don’t want you to know about it,” said Fred Smith, a former city test analyst who discovered the missing items. In touting an uptick in scores last August, the state didn’t mention the erased results. The number of city kids rated “proficient” increased 2.9 percent from 2013 on the third-grade ELA test and 3.9 percent on the seventh-grade test. The state dropped the scoring of multiple-choice questions No. 29 and No. 30, about an article on maple syrup, at the end of the third-grade test’s first day. It also dropped an essay on a story about a farm girl’s bread recipe at the end of the third day. Those scores were killed because 5 to 6 percent of all students “did not respond,” officials told The Post, meaning they left the answers blank.That high “omit rate” is unprecedented in New York, Smith said.

Last Week True News Said UFT Organizing Op-Out Exam Movement Today the Daily News Agrees
Testing, testing:Union-organized 'opt out' campaign against Common Core exams protects teachers,not students (NYDN Ed)  To hear teachers unions and fringe parents tell it, New York’s public school children face rough treatment on the order of, say, waterboarding with the start Tuesday of annual standardized tests. The silliness of portraying children who answer English and math questions as victims of near-child abuse is exceeded only by the cynicism of the unions’ anti-testing propaganda campaign. Because the attacks on testing are orchestrated to protect teachers, not students. New York State United Teachers has launched an all-out drive to persuade moms and dads to boycott standardized exams. Last year, the parents of fewer than 2,000 city children and roughly 60,000 statewide “opted out” of tests. A successful push would most hurt the low-income and minority kids who are trapped in chronically failing public schools.* As English assessments are given today through Thursday to more than 1 million third- through eighth-grade students, tens of thousands of others are expected, with their parents’ permission, to refuse to take them with the hope of eventually changing state policy.For various reasons, even parents who are uncomfortable with the exams are discovering it is hard to push the button on the nuclear option — refusing to have their own children take them. The tests are a federal requirement. Districts that do not have at least 95 percent of their eligible students take the assessments are marked as failing to meet “adequate yearly progress.” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the growing opt-out movement is something the governor and Legislature will have to deal with in the future.* Errol Louis: “I think the idea of keeping one’s kids from taking the test is reckless and unrealistic for lots of reasons.”* While the “opt-out” movement gained strength this year in New York, more children are taking the tests this week than are not. * City’s education leaders late with capital construction plan (NYP) * Heastie Expects Education Issues To Be Considered In Post-Budget Session

Wednesday Though final opt-out numbers aren’t yet available, a growing number of students declined to take the tests on the first day they were offered yesterday. One school in Brooklyn reported 95 percent of eligible kids didn’t sit for the ELA exam. * EXAM BOYCOTT: An estimated 300,000 students from Brooklyn to Buffalo opt out of state mandated English Language Arts test * Policymakers need to listen to the hundreds of thousands of New York families sending a message that they’re skeptical of the value of the state tests, the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Hess writes in the Daily News:* “I think the numbers exceeded expectations in many districts,” said Bob Lowry, director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. State education officials would not comment directly on the testing boycott but continued to warn school districts, teachers and parents about possible consequences. *  High Achievement New York, a pro-Common Core coalition that includes business groups,will launch a six-figure radio and digital advertising campaign today encouraging parents to “opt in” their children to state exams.* Senate Bill Would Exempt Top Districts From Evaluations (YNN) * Tisch to Feds: Don’t Penalize NY(YNN) * Tens of thousands of New York students refusing to take required English exams have not dissuaded the state Education Department from using those tests as the basis for school and teacher evaluations. * Federal education officials are hinting that New York public schools with high opt-out rates during this week’s standardized tests could face financial sanctions. But Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch warned Washington not to penalize students for a fight the grownups are having.* Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch urged the federal government not to withhold funding from New York after federal officials suggested the state’s high test opt-out rates may merit financial sanctions, State of Politicsreports:  * Meanwhile, state education officials said they’re confident enough students will take state exams to provide accurate data for teacher evaluations, despite estimates that 155,000 have opted out, GannettAlbany reports: * An advocacy group affiliated with a teachers union-backed organization has released a report on the donors and board members of the Success Academy charter school network, CapitalNew York reports:

THE ANTI-TESTING OPT-OUT DELUSION: A speedbump, not a roadblock, on the path to rigorous evaluations for teachers (NYDN) * The opt-out wave& its undertow: Parents boycotting New York's Common Core tests are helpingthe teachers' union advance its own agenda (NYDN) As lawmakers debated whether student test scores should count for 20% or 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, Karen Magee, president of the state union, gave away the game in an interview published in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. “We have 20% right now. We’d be happy with zero, because it’s not a true indicator of what’s going on in the schools,” said Magee. “Happy with zero” means the union would just as soon not have its members’ job security or prospects for promotion affected in any way by whether the students have actually learned reading, writing or math. And in pursuit of that goal, the union’s strategy — backed by groups including the Working Families Party — is to cripple the evaluation system by encouraging so many kids to opt out that the tests won’t represent a reliable sample.

“I don’t know if the system can be looked upon fairly if some kids are taking (tests) and some are not,” he said.  The state education department has added six struggling New York City schools to its “out of time” list. The city now has eight schools with the designation, meaning they have failed to substantively improve after three or more years of intensive support * While New York has become a center of the anti-testing movement and many parents oppose standardized testing, they are unwilling to let their kids opt out for fear of risking their academic future, the Times writes: The Buffalo News writes that parents should send children to state testing and support the work of producing an educational system that gives their children the best training possible to compete in an ever-shrinking world: *.@errollouis: "I wouldn’t .. go to a doctor who couldn’t pass a battery of high-stakes tests, & neither would you."   * State records show the United Federation of Teachers spent more than $150,000 lobbying state government during the first two months of 2015, State of Politics writes:* Thousands of students refused to take state standardized tests in the Buffalo Niagara region on the first day of English Language Arts tests were given to third through eighth graders across the state, The Buffalo Newsreports * FiveThirtyEight reports that New York State’steacher evaluation system stands out compared with other states in how much weight it may soon be putting on students’ scores: 

UFT Skip the Test Politics . . . Fake Parent Group Attacks Charters as 19,700 Kids Shut Out
The New York State United Teachers is robocalling members to say they can have children skip state tests, which comes after the union protested how scores will figure into evaluations, The Wall Street Journalreports *  N.Y. Teachers Union Robocalls Members About State Tests (WSJ) NYSUT reminds members that their children can opt-out of next week’s standardized exams in latest protest. * 19,700 kids’ dashed hopes (NYP Ed)  The Success Academy charter network has released the results of its entrance lottery last week: 2,317 lucky kids won a seat; 19,700 children did not 

For 40 years nobody has fixed the schools will not taking a test change anything?
Affluent parents are against Common Core: study (NYP) * The best for thebrightest: The city schools' gifted-and-talented admissions process needs anoverhaul (NYDN)  Those are the elite classes and schools reserved for the very young students who score highest on an aptitude test — and they skew dramatically toward the most privileged families. In results just out for 2015, more than 36,000 students in grades K-3 took the exam — and a quarter, 9,009, scored high enough to apply for admission. In Manhattan’s District 2, which includes the Upper East Side, 3,300 took the test, and well over a third passed. In Queens’ District 26, which includes the prosperous northeast Queens communities of Bayside and Douglaston, 2,200 took it, and about a fifth passed. Meantime, a total of 357 students in the city’s eight poorest districts hit the score, and the pass rate in those districts was less than half the city average. In four low-income districts, too few students passed to establish a class.  * With more and more students opting out of state standardized tests, it remains unclear whether teacher evaluation reforms will be affected, The Buffalo News writes:  

Defining Deviancy Down: The Same Nation That Used Its Brains to Get to Moon Can't Take A Test?
Newsday writes that teachers union leadership’s calls areurging parents to opt out of state tests are self interested and will ultimately hurt students:  * Former gubernatorial candidate and Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout urged parents in a robocall to refuse to have their kids take the controversial statewide assessment exams slated for this week.* Teachout Robocalls In Support Of Opting Out (YNN) * Opting out makes no sense from every perspective - Opinion - The Buffalo News * Parents, teachers push #OptOut, with different goals, @jessicabakeman reports (Capital) * SUNY Chancellor Urges Students To Not Opt Out  (YNN) * The State Board of Regents is working with a national search firm to narrow a list of applicants for education commissioner to six or seven candidates.* Some Parents Oppose Standardized Testing on Principle, but Not in Practice (NYT) Even parents who are uncomfortable with the exams are discovering that it is hard to push the button on the nuclear option — refusing to have their own children take them.* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the growing push by parents to keep their children from taking Common Core tests is an issue that officials in Albany will have to deal with in the future, The Buffalo News writes:

Anyone Who Thinks This is A Real Parent Group Buy My Bridge and Education Expert Sharpton

Stories From Current and Former Success Academy Parents (NYT) New York City parents of current and former Success Academy students describe a learning environment that was a godsend for some children and a grind for others. * N.Y. Study Finds Weaker Teachers for Some Pupils (WSJ) *Teachers Fight Standardized Testing, and Find Diverse Allies (NYT) Often painted as obstacles to improving schools, the unions now find common ground with conservative leaders and education reform advocates. * UFT Hits Airwaves With Anti-Cuomo Ad (YNN)* The New York State United Teachers union called on the state Department of Education to hold public hearings as it develops the regulations for the new teacher evaluation criteria approved in the budget this month, State of Politicswrites:  * State education officials will soon release a plan for how they’ll develop regulations to finalize a new teacher-evaluation system, Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch said.* Why attack Success in Bed-Stuy? (NYP Ed)* After seeing thousands of students sit out New York’s statewide English assessments last week, school districts are set to begin three days of math testing today. Tens of thousands of kids of the 200,000 eligible to take the tests on Long Island are expected to opt out – more than did so for last week’s English exams. The Assembly’s Education Committee passed a bill sponsored by its chairwoman, Cathy Nolan, that would codify parents’ right to “opt out” their children from standardized testing.* NYSUT Joins UFT’s Ad Campaign (YNN) * Nolan Bill Defines ‘Struggling’ Versus ‘Failing’ Schools (YNN) *Teachers union launches ad ripping Cuomo's education agenda (NYDN) *State lawmakers in the Assembly, like in the Republican-controlled Senate, will likely consider measures designed to alter education policies approved in the 2015-16 state budget, State of Politics reports * The statewide teachers union is signing on to an ad campaign started by the New York City-based United Federation of Teachers that criticizes the education reform measures successfully sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State of Politicsreports:  * Legislation recently introduced by Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan would change the term of art for schools entering receivership from “failing” to “struggling,” State of Politics reports * A New York City Independent Budget Office analysis found the median household income of students attending one of the city’s nine specialized high schools was higher on average than that of students at the city’s other high schools:

Education Drifting Daily News Looks At the School System In Crisis
PART 1: Daily News takes a look at city schools in crisis — the largest public education system in the country (NYDN) * NYC is rife with underperforming schools, including nearly two-thirds of students missing state standards (NYDN) *‘School of No’ principal accused of fraud still collects paycheck (NYP) Marcella Sills — the hooky-playing, fur-draped, BMW-driving former principal of the infamous “School of No” — is still on the city payroll a year after beingcharged with fraud and misconduct. The Department of Education yanked Sills from PS 106 in Far Rockaway in February 2014, yet she draws her $128,000 annual salary and racks up pension credit. Her administrative trial has dragged on since last fall. The DOE won’t say what, if anything, Sills does. Sills’ removal came after The Post exposed her frequent no-shows, chronic lateness and nine years of mismanagement at PS 106, dubbed the “School of No” because it lacked basics like books for the Common Core curriculum, or gym and art classes. Kids were warehoused in the auditorium and shown movies, and kindergarten classes took place in old trailers reeking of urine. * Principal spent taxpayers funds to up her Web presence: records (NYP) * ‘School of No’ superintendent has retired (NYP) * Brooklyn high school principal rehired despite failing record (NYP) * 1/5 of last year’s retired teachers left in middle of school year: DOE (NYP) * Letitia James leads rally against Cuomo's education plan (NYDN) Public Advocate Letitia James led a rally Sunday blasting Gov. Cuomo’s education plan, saying he is holding school cash “hostage” to his policy agenda.* Betting their hedges (NYP Ed) In New York and nationwide, teachers unions and their pawns have declared war on the hedge-fund honchos who provide crucial help to charter schools* In 23 states – including New York – state and local governments are together spending less per pupil in the poorest school districts than they are in the most affluent school districts, according to federal data from fiscal year 2012, the most recent figures available. * Betting their hedges (NYP Ed) In New York and nationwide, teachers unions and their pawns have declared war on the hedge-fund honchos who provide crucial help to charter schools * GONZALEZ: Department of Education does an about-face, cancels firm's $637M contract to provide computers for public schools (NYDN)

School Lawsuit: Poorer Neighborhoods Get Poorer Schools
Why parents are suing to end school failure (NYP) Why are we at NYC Parents Union still suing to force education reform across New York, when Gov. Cuomo is pushing hard toward the same goal?  Why are we at NYC Parents Union still suing to force education reform across New York, when Gov. Cuomo is pushing hard toward the same goal? Several people have asked me that, especially since Judge Philip Minardo last week rejected the efforts of the teachers union, the city and state to have our case tossed out.* Struggling NYC schools hope to change without Cuomo takeover (NYDN)
Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. First off, Cuomo isn’t now pursuing the specific changes we’re seeking in the Davids v. New York suit — namely, to overturn current laws and practices on teacher job-security. These outdated protections, we will show, work to deny countless children their right to a quality public-school education. Second, there’s no guarantee the governor will succeed. He faces the extremely difficult challenge of dealing with the Legislature, Mayor de Blasio and his Department of Education and, of course, the union bosses. Why are we at NYC Parents Union still suing to force education reform across New York, when Gov. Cuomo is pushing hard toward the same goal?  Several people have asked me that, especially since Judge Philip Minardo last week rejected the efforts of the teachers union, the city and state to have our case tossed out. Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. First off, Cuomo isn’t now pursuing the specific changes we’re seeking in the Davids v. New York suit — namely, to overturn current laws and practices on teacher job-security. These outdated protections, we will show, work to deny countless children their right to a quality public-school education. Second, there’s no guarantee the governor will succeed. He faces the extremely difficult challenge of dealing with the Legislature, Mayor de Blasio and his Department of Education and, of course, the union bosses. Our inspiration is the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended segregation. Sixty years later, New York City schools are blighted by a different kind of segregation — not so much racial, as economic. Decade after decade, the neighborhoods in the poorest ZIP codes wind up with the worst-performing schools — because the most underperforming teachers are shunted off to these schools, rather than forced to improve or be fired.* NYC'S MOST DESPERATE DISTRICT: South Bronx parents struggle with low scores, high poverty as they fight for their future — SEE THE INTERACTIVE MAP (NYDN)* * The New York City Employees’ Retirement System nixed a recommendation from the comptroller’s office to invest in a hedge fund run by a co-founder of the Success Academies charter school group, the Post reports: Tax Credits The Daily News writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie owes it to parents to put a bill on the floor for a vote that would offer a tax credit to those who donate to funds that provide public and private school scholarships: * In a rare move, the board that oversees the NYC retirement fund for civil servants killed a proposal to invest in a high-yield hedge fund — run by one of the city’s biggest investors in charter schools: Gotham Asset Management, which is run by Success Academies co-founder Joel Greenblatt. * A new effort backed by teachers’ unions and Occupy Wall Street is trying to make a casethat the unions have long sought to make: Charter schools are a wolf — or, in this case, billionaires — in sheep’s clothing. And Democrats should be wary about embracing them. * Chris Smith: “I think Cuomo sincerely wants to find ways to better educate the state’s students, which is why his confrontational approach has always seemed weirdly miscalculated.”

Teacher Ratings Are BS 
Slippery in the Slope, where all teachers are perfect (NYDN Ed) Families who live in Park Slope have easy access to Brooklyn’s most beautiful green space, to a food coop overflowing with organic produce and to a school where every single teacher is absolutely fantabulous. Come with us now to Public School 321, where the staff walks on water, according to the state’s newly released teacher performance evaluations. Fully 96% of the school’s instructors won “highly effective” ratings, just 4% were marked “effective” and zero fell below grade to “developing” or “ineffective.” Meantime, at Stuyvesant High School — home to the best and brightest students — the ratings reversed and were closer to the citywide trend: just 3% “highly effective and 96% “effective.” Do PS 321’s kids learn the meaning of the word “farce”? * New York City's ban on cell phones in public schools isover. Now, schools are rolling out new rules.(WNYC)* Teachers Union Leaders Question Charter School Rally (YNN)

UFT Fails At Education
UFT-founded charter school closing for poor performance (NYP) A long-struggling K-8 charter school founded by the teachers union to prove that its work contract doesn’t impede student success will close in June, after failing to meet academic benchmarks....*  Controversial UFT Charter Schoolin Brooklyn to Close Elementary and MiddleGrades (NY1) New York City Teachers’ Union Is Closing Portion of Its Brooklyn Charter School (NYT) Low student tests scores are forcing the United Federation of Teachers to shut down the kindergarten-to-eighth-grade portion of a charter school it started in 2005.* A new wave of standardized exams, designed to assess whether students are learning in step with the Common Core standards, is sweeping the country, arriving this week in classrooms in several states and entering the cross hairs of various political movements. Almost every state – including New York – has an “opt out” movement.
Cuomo Rep
ort More Money Does Not Help Failing Schools 

UFT Charter Contradictions
Errol Louis says the UFT’s decision to shut down the K-8 grades at its NYC charter school “neatly contradicts much of the union’s overheated rhetoric about the supposed ills and evils of charter schools.” * Rallies both in support of and against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed education reforms took place at the state Capitol yesterday.* The ranks of the anti-Cuomo protestors were stronger, with more than 1,000 teachers and public education advocates marching through the Empire State Plaza concourse, clogging security checkpoints into the Capitol and rallying on the Million Dollar Staircase in a boisterous protest of the governor’s plan.
Start the revolution(NYDN)  More than 100,000 students across the state attend 178 campuses where test scores and graduation rates are persistently bottom-of-the-barrel. In many, the percentage of kids able to read or do math at grade level is in the single digits. In New York City, more than 50,000 kids are trapped in 91 such schools, including 18 that are on track to close this year or next. Forty city schools have been allowed to flounder, and steal kids’ futures, for a decade or more. Take Community Health Academy of the Heights in Manhattan. It’s been on the failing schools list for four years. Only 8% of its kids passed the state math tests and only 12% are reading at grade level. Yet 100% of its teachers are officially rated as “effective” or “highly effective.” Or take the Ida Posner School, P.S. 165 in Brooklyn. It’s been deemed failing for five years, with only 9% of its students passing in math and 11% in reading. Yet 94% of its teachers are scored “effective.” More money is not the answer.

As Cuomo’s report documents, all of these failing schools have seen substantial funding boosts over the past four years, and their per-pupil spending is typically around double the national average. Mayor de Blasio’s answer, to the extent he has one, is: “Trust me, I’ve got this.” He and Chancellor Carmen Fariña plan to layer on extra support services and lengthen the school day. But they fall short of taking the necessary steps to aggressively weed out weak links on the faculty. A clear-eyed mayor with fewer allegiances to the teachers union would recognize that Cuomo is offering him the chance for greater control and fresh strategies for helping kids trapped in failure.* *A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany and requested to remain in charge of turning around the city’s poorest performing schools, Cuomo challenged that with a report highlighting the schools’ struggles, Chalkbeatreports:  * The City University of New York’s approach to community college, with its web of support services, is a “highly promising strategy” for raising graduation rates among the disadvantaged, the Times writes: * As a new report shows that more than 97 percent of area principals and teachers are deemed effective or highly effective, educators across the state are rallying against a plan by Cuomo to make the rating system tougher. * Though 95 percent of New York’s teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in 2013-14, there are some exceptions.
A day after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany to try to convince state lawmakers that he should remain in charge of turning around the city’s lowest-performing schools, Cuomo challenged that assertion with a new report highlighting those schools’ struggles. * In the report, Cuomo linked legislators’ names to chronically failing public schools in their districts in a provocative move to win support for his education reforms. * Cuomo’s report cited 178 failing schools across New York – the same number used in a Families for Excellent Schools (F.E.S.) report released Wednesday, which calls for a state takeover of those schools, a major component of Cuomo’s education reform proposals. * Republicans in the state Assembly pushed Cuomo to release school aid runs so that districts can better plan their budgets and tax levies, which are due to go before voters this May.* "Educational wastelands plague New York, especially in the city and itsneediest neighborhoods." (NYDN)* Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco sharply criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approach on education spending in this year’s $142 billion budget proposal “bizarre” and said it risked an on-time spending plan, State of Politicsreports: * A massive pro-charter rally co-organized by Success Academy, New York City’s largest charter school network, that is scheduled for this Wednesday in Albany will be headlinedby Lisa Leslie, the former Women’s National Basketball Association star and Olympic gold medalist.
The UFT Used Its $$$ To Buy the City Government Does Not Own the Governor

The teachers unions are used to funneling cash and warm bodies into elections and then reaping the political rewards, but Cuomo understands that New York should be getting much better results for all its spending, the Post writes: Elif Gure-Perez, who was named in June as an executive director in the DOE’s Office of School Improvement, created a “hostile, race-based work environment,” a Manhattan federal court found months before her appointment. Gure-Perez, the former principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, called one staffer the N-word to her face; referred to an African-American teacher as “Shining,” an insulting term for a shoe shiner; and spoke of buying a bright orange blouse to wear to school “since I know black people like loud colors,” witnesses testified.* RICH SCHOOLS, POOR SCHOOLS: Funding gap between NYC schools and state's wealthy districts rise 43% under Cuomo(NYDN) Teacher Ratings Associated Press queries to districts around the staterevealed that few parents have asked for their child's teacher's rating since New York began requiring teachers to be classified every year:* A coalition of charter school supporters is planning a charter advocacy day in Albany on Feb. 3, shortly after Cuomo proposes his budget for the next year, to rally for charter-related legislative priorities.* * Education advocates accused Cuomo of trying to punish the state’s teachers because unions representing them did not endorse his re-election campaign in 2014, the Daily News writes:  * Here are 4 pressingissues that will shape Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina’s second year.(DNAINFO)* Hearing Set on Challenge to Teacher Tenure Law(WSJ)* Skelos Open To Gubernatorial Control On Education(YNN) Charter Rights in Public Schools Charters have right to share space with public schools: court *Sheldon Silverquestions need to raise charter school cap * Silver: No Reason To Change Regents Appointments(YNN)* Skelos continued to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to reform the state’s education policy by taking away the Assembly’s controlling power over how members of the Board of Regents are appointed, State of Politicsreports: * The state Education Department agreed to improve school safety enforcement after an audit from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found that seven New York schools failed to report cases of violence and bullying, Gannett Albany reports  * Protesters at the state Capitol this week called for pouring $2.2 billion more into the state’s education budget, but lawmakers should rather be focused on spending the billions already in the system better, Bill Hammond writes in the Daily News: * The state Conservative Party supports Cuomo education reform push.* Cuomo pledged to have a “full agenda” of proposed reforms to the state’s education policy in his State of the State, due to be given next Wednesday, State of Politics reports: * Challenged broadly by @NYGovCuomoteacher unionsticks to funding issue(Capital)

Education Arms Race: UFT vs Charters

Wednesday Cuomo’s Plans Set Up a Clash With Teachers(NYT)  Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to seek changes to teacher evaluations and charter school limits, reforms that, uncharacteristically for a Democrat, will put him in conflict with the unions.* More than 80 state lawmakers have joined a long list of advocates urging Cuomo to include a big boost in spending among any education proposals he lays out in his address today.* Cuomo has been laying the groundwork for an aggressive education agenda as he begins his second term, signaling that he will seek several major changes that, atypically for a Democrat, will put him in direct conflict with teachers’ unions. * The governor reportedly will propose tying together two education initiatives that have split the left and right — creation of a state DREAM Act and an education tax credit. This is the first time he’s including the DREAM Act in his budget, which is something advocates have been pushing.
“It’s an education arms race,” said Basil Smikle, a former state Senate candidate. “Education has become the dominant policy issue in New York City . . . Everyone is sort of playing defense now. The union is using all the resources it can muster to counter the school-choice movement. And school-choice advocates are marshalling significant resources to protect their charter schools.” One pro-charter group, Families for Excellent Schools, spent $5.95 million on Albany lobbying last year. And the campaign arm of StudentsFirstNY, another school-choice group, spent $4.4 million to help Republicans secure control of the Senate. * Cuomo faces a lot of pressure to propose education reforms that address the social and cultural issues that hobble urban public schools while challenging the status quo of teachers unions, the Post’s Bob McManuswrites:  * Poll: Nearly half of voters oppose Common Core (Capital) Cuomo’s job approval stands at 47 percent, but 60 percent have a favorable view of him* Education group ripsGov. Cuomo in a new video a day before he proposes school reforms (NYDN) *Poll: Nearly half ofNY voters oppose Common Core but more trust State Ed Dept than Cuomo  via @capitalnewyork * “The most sophisticated lobbying, politicking is done around the education budget,”Cuomo said. “And the answer to education has always been the same: more money, more money, more money.” * nAQE released a video ripping the governor’s policies and calling on him to address funding inequities between poor and rich school districts. * A group of state and city politicians are mounting a legislative push to tighten laws surrounding the locations of new charter schools in New York City. * * Gov. Andrew Cuomo will propose tying together two hot-button education initiatives that have split the left and right—creation of a state DREAM Act and an education tax credit, the Daily News reports:  *All Education, All the Time(YNN)

Eva's Secret Charter School Santa
To Eva, from Bill(NYP)  via @nypost Ironically, DEB has beenthe best thing to happen for Charter movement What do you know? Mayor de Blasio passed on the coal for Christmas and gave Eva Moskowitz classroom space for her Success Academy charter schools. Good for him. Good for these kids. So what about the next time? Remember, this is the second crisis over space for Moskowitz’s charters in de Blasio’s first year in office alone. A cynic might get the idea the mayor has intentionally sought to make life difficult for charters, even if it means punishing kids who need them.


NYS Education After the King
State Education Commissioner to Leave Post(NY1)* New York State Education Commissioner to Leave for Federal Post(NYT)  John B. King Jr. said he would take the second-highest-ranking job at the United States Education Department.* John King Jr., New York State’s Education Chief, to Leave Many Policy Wars Behind(NYT) Whoever replaces John B. King Jr., who took office as New York State education commissioner when the work was relatively uncontentious, will have to juggle issues like the Common Core standards, teacher evaluation and training, and charter schools.* Whoever replaces departing state Education Commissioner John King will occupy a now very prominent post, where he or she will have to juggle numerous contentious issues, including testing, teacher evaluation and training, and charter schools.
Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch said she will lead a “good, honest, honorable”—and confidential—national search for the next state education commissioner. “I do not plan to comment about the search, ever,” she insisted.The Journal News notes King’s charter school background, and suggests the regents look for a replacement “who has taught and served as an administrator in public schools.”* Outgoing state Education Commissioner John King hopes to help school leaders in other states navigate the difficult transition to the Common Core standards and related standardized testing in his new position as the second-highest ranking official in the U.S. Department of Education.* The Board of Regents refused to issue renewals to six under-performing New York City charter schools and asked Chancellor Carmen Fariña to explain why the city bothered to send up their applications, the Post writes * De Blasio should follow the law and aggressively expand, promote and support good schools in New York City, giving 143,000 students trapped in failing schools the option of transferring to a better district or charter schools, the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce’s Frank Garcia writes in the Post: Why King’s exit won’t impact Albany’s 2015 education agenda(Capital)  The governor and the Legislature have been increasingly willing to legislate education policy.* Revised Evaluations Give NYC Teachers High Marks(WSJ)* Why King’s exit won’t impact Albany’s 2015 education agenda(Capital) The governor and the Legislature have been increasingly willing to legislate education policy.* More than 9 out of 10 teachers in New York were rated “effective” or “highly effective” last year, while at the same time fewer than 40 percent of grade 3-8 students were graded “proficient” on state-mandated tests, Gannett Albany reports: New York City Teachers Score Highly Under New Evaluation System(NYT)  The system was created to make it easier to identify which teachers performed the best so their methods could be replicated, and which performed the worst, so they could be fired.* Fewer city teachers earned positive job ratings comparedto other school districts: state Education Department(NYDN)  The ratings showed that more than 91.7% of city teachers were rated highly effective or effective for the 2013-14 school year, compared with 97.5% of teachers in the rest of the state.* * Having a rigorous, transparent process to name state Education Commissioner John King’s successor will allow the Board of Regents to reset the statewide education conversation, which has become contentious and self-defeating, the Times Union writes: Editorial: Cuomo’s big teacher test(NYDN Ed) * Cuomo characterized glowing teacher evaluation results released this week as “not reality,” saying, "It affirms the premise that you have to do a better job in designing a teacher evaluation system," the Daily News reports: 

More Aspiring Teacher's Fail Certification Exam

It is about the UFT protecting teachers rather than putting children first like we read on all the campaign flyers
Principal of Failing BrooklynSchool Quits, Saying CityLacks an Education Plan(NYT) “The problem is, there is no plan,” the principal, Bernard Gassaway of Boys and Girls High School, said of the city’s approach to struggling schools. “They’re making it up as they go along.”Mr. Gassaway said the de Blasio administration did not provide a coherent vision of how it planned to improve Boys and Girls, and he said the approaches the city planned to use, like social services for the students and increased professional development for the staff, were not sufficient. (Mr. Gassaway has not been shy about criticizing the Education Department. A former superintendent under Mr. Bloomberg, he publicly rebuked that administration after leaving the post.) His voice joins a small chorus of those questioning the city’s plans for struggling schools, and for struggling high schools in particular. Last week,charter school supporters held a rally to call attention to the city’s failing schools and to demand that the city come up with a strategy to address them. Mr. Bloomberg often gave charter schools the space freed up by the closing of schools.* Boys and Girls HS student said he was pressured to transfer,30 students have left in 3 weeks  Merryl Tisch: Immigrant kids squeezing budget...(NYDN)
Education Topic Search
Campbell Brown left television to do battle with powerful teachers unions. Labor-affiliated groups have taken the opportunity to school Ms. Brown in the bare-knuckle way of New York City politics.
The New York City Charter School Center has issued a series of recommendations to the Department of Education to bolster its struggling schools plan. 

Cityschools dumping $95 million computer system(NYDN)

Charter school advocates on Tuesday called on the state to increase facilities funding for charters, highlighting a little-noticed provision in new pro-charter legislation that only provides additional resources for new or expanding schools.

GEs Welch Message Control Hacks DOE Meritocracy Not Putting Students 1st . . .
de Blasio Answers GE Welch  

Welch’s bright ideaNYP Ed) Former GE Chairman Jack Welch hit the nail on the head this week when he suggested no private-sector business could run the way New York City’s schools do. Welch blasted Chancellor Carmen Fariña after The Post reported that seven of 15 new superintendents she just tapped had overseen below-average schools. When you put people in positions “without a meritocracy, without differentiation, you get bad performance,” said Welch. “You couldn’t run GE . . . you couldn’t run any company” like that.

de Blasio Answers GE's Welch
Jack Welch questions Fariña’s superintendent appointments(NYP) Former GE chief Jack Welch lit into Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s management skills on Monday, questioning why she hired superintendents who had run struggling schools.

“She just appointed 15 superintendents — seven from failing schools, five from disasters, 10 percent passing tests, et cetera — as superintendents,” Welch said on CNBC. “When you have a philosophy of putting people in place without a meritocracy, without differentiation, you get bad performance.” Welch argued that major corporations would never promote “flunkies” and “hacks” the way the Department of Education did.* Community memberssay central Brooklyn's school system is in a"sorry state" Mayor makes history(NYPN Ed) Bill de Blasio hasn’t yet finished a year in office. But already the elections — here as well as across the country — make clear he has probably already earned his place in history as the last mayor of New York to oppose charter public schools.

Merge Bad School But No to Closed School?

UFT Teachers To Powerful to Fail (Be Fired)  
Education Reform for Failing Schools Must Be OK By UFT Which the Mayor Needs for His Reelection in 2017

Editorial: Teachers union pet(NYDN) Facing the threatened closure by the state of the city’s two worst high schools, Mayor de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and United Federation Teachers President Michael Mulgrew locked arms in a teacher protection plan. Hard experience teaches that there is no other way to read their agreement on the futures of Boys & Girls and Automotive High Schools, regardless of their claims to the contrary.State Education Commissioner John King notified the mayor and Fariña that their turnaround plans for Boys & Girls and Automotive were insufficient. Rightly, he insisted that reforms would fall short unless principals had the authority to remove incompetent teachers. That left de Blasio to work out a deal with his political ally, Mulgrew. They produced a pact that will require teachers to reapply for their positions, the suggestion being that those found wanting will be given their walking papers.*NY Daily NewsOpinion - New Plan for Two Failing Schools Protects Teachers
Charter School Win Followed By A GOP Senate
Top Cuomo donors strongly backed G.O.P. Senate(Capital) Governor Andrew Cuomo's top donors contributed six times as much to help elect Republicans to the State Senate as they did to similar efforts to help Democrats, a Capital New York analysis shows.  The Democratic governor's top 25 donors gave his campaign committee $5.13 million between Dec. 1, 2010, and Oct. 24, 2014. The same group of people and organizations contributed just $444,604 to Senate Democrats or independent expenditure committees that supported Democrats in this year's election cycle. At the same time, they spent $2.7 million, over si times as much, helping the campaigns of Senate Republicans.* Libous To Remain Deputy Leader(YNN) * Skelos Stays Atop Senate Republican Conference(YNN) Wealthy donors who have contributed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped Senate Republicans regain full control of the chamber, according to an analysis from Capital.
80% of the Teachers Say Parents Keep Your Kids Out of My School
Some NYC teachers: ‘Don’t send your kids here!’(NYP) Some schools in the city are so bad that even the teachers — the people who are supposed to make things better — say they’d tell parents to enroll their kids elsewhere, according to a new DOE survey. In startling admissions of failure culled from the annual quality-review surveys conducted by the Department of Education, at least 80 percent of the teachers in eight schools said they would never recommend those schools to children.

Charter School Rent Too Damn High Also

Management company cuts high rent it was chargingtaxpayer-funded Brooklyn charter school(NYDN) National Heritage Academies, based in Michigan, was charging a whopping $2.5 million per year for classrooms leased to Brooklyn Excelsior CharterSchool, which it also manages, in a building it owns in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Black Alumni Group Gives de Blasio and Farina Cover to Change Top HS Tests

EXCLUSIVE: A letter addressed to Mayor de Blasio and city schools boss Carmen Fariña slammed the city for failing to help minority kids gain entrance to the city’s high schools. “It is outrageous that most specialized high school students come from just a handful of middle schools,” said the scathing missive, which was obtained by the Daily News.  “As long as schools are unequal, a single test will yield unequal results,” the letter said. The letter also called on education officials to alter the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, which is used as the sole criteria for admission to the city’s specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant. Just 3% of students at Stuyvesant are Hispanic or black, but those students account for about 70% of the city’s total student body. Other elite schools display similar disparities.

UFT Has Their Contract the Students From Bad Schools Lack A Proper Plan
New York Needs a Stronger School Plan (NYT Ed) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative adds support services, but the help may be too little and too slow for the most dysfunctional schools.
* Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to spend $150 million on nearly 100 of the city’s most challenged public schools, but while he criticized the Bloomberg administration for school closures, he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of more closures down the line, the Observer reports:
De Blasio unveiled his administration’s long-awaited plan toimprove 94 of the city’s lowest-performing schools in a major policy speech.

De Blasio Reveals Plan for Failing Schools (WSJ) De Blasio Unveils New Plans for Troubled Schools in New York(NYT) Editorial: Bill’s longshot bet Fariña (NYDN Ed) The school reform plan announced belatedly and with great fanfare by Mayor de Blasio Monday falls far short of the gargantuan challenge of improving the city’s chronically failing schools.* * De Blasio will not support an effort to extend or lift the number of charter schools that can open in New York, saying “we have a good dynamic right with the cap the way it is,” Capital New York writes: * Dennis Walcott corrects some revisionist history@NYDNOpinions | "@MikeBloomberg Saved Kids, Not Schools"…(NYD

Joel Klein Time for Shankers Teacher Supervised Internship
Albert Shanker in 1985 proposed "a supervised internship of from one to three years" as a requirement for #teachers.  OAKLANDCalif. — Monica DeSantiago wondered how in the world she would get the students to respect her. It was the beginning of her yearlong apprenticeship as a math teacher at Berkley Maynard Academy, a charter school in this diverse city east of San Francisco. The petite, soft-spoken Ms. DeSantiago, 23, had heard the incoming sixth graders were a rowdy bunch. She watched closely as Pamela Saberton, a teacher with seven years’ experience in city public schools and Ms. DeSantiago’s mentor for the year, strolled the room. Ms. Saberton rarely raised her voice, but kept up a constant patter as she recited what the students were doing, as in, “Keion is sitting quietly,” or “Reevan is working on her math problems.”* Instead of haggling with Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz and other successful charter leaders over each additional school, the city should be encouraging them to step up their game, the Post writes:

Principal Quits Says No Education Plan What to Do About Failing Schools  . . .  Farina Showcase Schools Failing   
Bernard Gassaway, the principal of Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, offered Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Education Department one of its sternest public rebukes yet. Mr. de Blasio and the schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, have distanced themselves aggressively from the approach taken by the administration of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to the city’s worst performing schools, which rested primarily on closing them and replacing them with new, generally smaller ones. But Mr. Gassaway’s critique, perhaps the first of Ms. Fariña’s tenure to be made so loudly by an insider, comes amid growing questions about what the city plans to do instead.* 

Boy and Girls HS Gassaway Become Charter School Hero
Over the last week, New York City's education reform movement has done its best to focus media and public attention on Brooklyn's Boys and GirlsHigh School and its recently departed principal, Bernard Gassaway. The effort is part of broader but equally disciplined effort to pressure the de Blasio administration and the city Department of Education to release a plan for struggling schools. Gassaway's resignation was first reported by the New York Post on Friday, then followed with a New York Times profile calling the resignation one of the D.O.E.'s "sternest public rebukes."Charter movement adopts controversial principal (Capital) *  Test scores low at many of Fariña’s ‘showcase’ schools(Capital) Many of the 17 schools chosen by chancellor Carmen Fariña to be part of her Showcase Schools program—and lauded as exemplary—have low math and English exam scores. Students at three of the schools scored well below the citywide average on both math and English state exams this year, and at two others scored below the average in English, according to data released Friday by the education reform group StudentsFirstNY. At other showcase schools Fariña announced on Thursday, students scored better, but still low: Scores on the math and reading exams ranged from 37.2 percent proficient to 65 percent proficient.* Mark Fariña tardy (NYDN Ed) Boys and Girls High School needs a makeover

Class Size Up 
Average class sizes in grades 1-3 in New York City public schools rose to 25 or 26 children in the last school year—an addition of three students a class from five years earlier, The Wall StreetJournal reports: 
More On Education, Charter Schools, Tenure
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña
NY's Failed Education System and No Fault Pols

At the Start of the School Year Everything Looks Pure and Good, Lots of Plans . . . Wait?

New York Times
Fariña thinks big New York Daily News
NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is an “active and engaged grandmother” of two boys.
New York State United Teachers is seeking to intervene in an anti-tenure lawsuit filed against the state.* PreK  Universal Pre-K Takes Off While it might not be completely smooth, more than 50,000 4-year-olds will start prekindergarten on Thursday, primarily thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio.* Ninety city schools failed to pass a single black or Hispanic student on state tests, study says(NYDN)
Overhaul to school discipline code won't be made this year(NYDN)* * Looking at a diverse cross-section of 90 New York City schools, an education-reform group found that not a single black or Hispanic student passed the state-administered math and reading exams, which is shameful, the Post writes: * As 50,000 4-year-olds prepare for their first day of expanded pre-K in New York City, it is important to remember how this extra year of education will help, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina writes in the Daily News: 
More On Education, Charter Schools, Tenure

de Blasio's 180 on Charter Schools

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said on Wednesday that it would find space in public school buildings for four charter schools that want to open or expand next year, the Times reports: 

CM Dromm Continues His War On Charter Schools 
City Council Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), who heads the city Education Committee, said the city has no control over the charter schools even though they are given $13,000 per student. An investigation into harsh discipline, rigged admissions and other allegations needs to be completed, reads a letter the committee will send to the state.

It's Like Deja-Vu, All Over Again - Yogi Berra
</div>City Changes Grading System With No Connections to the Past, One Year Later Declares Victory For Education Improvements
A new report found New York laws make it so hard to fire bad instructors that 61 percent of city teachers convicted of wrongdoing and targeted for dismissal were returned to their classroom jobs, the Daily News writes:  * De Blasio would not be human, let alone a remotely competent politician, if he didn’t call for the firing of someone using a position of power to force himself on young people and exchanging grades for sexual favors, Partnership for Educational Justice’s
Campbell Brown writes inthe Daily News: A devoted mom’s plea to fix failing schools (NYP) Fariña unveils plan to stop using letter grades to evaluateschools (NYP)* March for kids: History in the making(NYP Ed) * Focus on the kids, Bill (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's attack on an education reform organization's funders distracts from the very high stakes for city kids Eager to impugn the motives of a group seeking to expand educational opportunity for disadvantaged New York children, Mayor de Blasio is calling on a pro-charter-school advocacy organization to disclose its donors.* Editorial: Someone had to know (NYDN Ed) Administrators at Brooklyn Tech hired a monster when they added alleged serial sexual predator Sean Shaynak to the school’s faculty — despite an earlier accusation in court that he had severely beaten an 11-year-old neighbor. While Shaynak is prosecuted on a long list of felony charges, the city’s special schools investigator must examine who in Brooklyn Tech’s adult community saw, or failed to see, warning signs that he wasn’t fit to be around students.* Teacher Known as Cool Friend, Until His Arrest(NYT) * Families for Excellent Schools held a pro-charter school rally that organizers say drew 21,000 parents to Manhattan’s Foley Square this morning, but they have yet to disclose how much the event cost or who the donors were, the Observerreports: * Lawsuits challenging tenure laws are working their way through the courts, and we wish them well, but hiring and firing procedures both need improvement, am New York writes:  Charter School Backers Rally, Hoping to Influencede Blasio’s Policies (NYT)* Editorial: Absentwithout excuse (NYDN Ed)You shoulda been there, Mayor de Blasio.  An amazing 21,000 New York City parents and children rallied in Foley Square to demand access to successful schools — now, in the immediate future and not in some ever-promised nirvana to come. Many were black or Hispanic. All saw the destruction being inflicted on children of color by a school system in which only 23 traditional public schools educating mostly poor, mostly minority children have hit proficiency targets for even half their students.* Charter SupportersRally for Better Public Schools (WSJ)*City battles over ability to fire heroin-toting teacher(NYP) The United Federation of Teachers is launching a $1.4 million ad campaign today, as the union attempts to defend itself from attacks over teacher tenure and charter schools.#deblasiosnewyork Overcrowded classrooms beneath ChancellorFariña's nose at Tweed | (DNAINFO) * The state approved 17 new charter schools for New York City, substantially expanding one of the city’s largest and most polarizing charter networks, Success Academy, and ensuring a battle over where they will be located, The New York Times reports: * State Education Commissioner John King expects student performance on Common Core-aligned exams to improve over time, as it has in Kentucky, the only state that’s moved faster than New York in implementing the standards, Capital New York reports: 

Weakening Eduation Exelence

Efforts to change the admissions process for New York’s specialized high schools are disquieting. No entrance criteria is perfect, but the Specialized High School Admission Test, or SHSAT, has served New Yorkers well as the sole determinant of admission to the specialized schools.

Campaign 2017 is A Tale of Two School Systems

If Mayor de Blasio thought a leading advocate for charter schools would be silenced after reaching a deal with the city for more space, he was badly mistaken. Charter chief... * Gonzalez: Eva Moskowitz isn't just backed by Wall Street, she moved there(NYDN)
As New York readies for the first day of school on Sept. 4, it is up to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to deliver on Mayor de Blasio's promise to provide free full-day preschool for 53,000 children and to deal with  other challenges.* First day at city schools has smooth start, few snagsreported(NYDN)
More than 1 million kids turned out for classes Thursday, with more than 51,000 kids coming to the city’s newly established universal prekindergarten programs** De Blasio said that all charter schools in the city will have to meet City Hall’s standards, including acceptance of special education students and English-as-a-second language learners, the Daily News reports: 
A lawsuit filed by a group of charter-school supporters alleges that a chronic funding gap between charter schools and traditional public schools violates the state constitution and disproportionately hurts minority students.

Schools violate state law by requiring minimum Common Core test scores

Draining 1 Education Swamp 499 to Go

The de Blasio administration makes a little progress in reducing the Absent Teacher Reserve pool. Now, there's much tougher work ahead.NYC's costly Absent Teacher Reserve will shrink by 9% as a result of buy-outs. But where will the remaining tchrs go? * Michael Mulgrew defends Common Core: ‘I’m going to punch you in the face...These are our tools.’(NYDN) * New York state is shortchanging $5.9 billion to public schools: report(NYDN) * City Teachers, Staff Stuck in Limbo Take Buyout(WSJ) The NY Post attacks Assembly Education Chair Deborah Glick for writing a letter demanding a ban on new charter schools in District 2, alleging that she is “selling out” black and Hispanic students that make up a quarter of the district:
More on Education  

Anti UFT Teacher Tenure Group Makes Its Move
  the Times Union reports:   * As tenure protections for teachers come under scrutiny nationwide, a look at recent disciplinary cases shows termination attempts often ended with fines, The Wall Street Journal reports: ** An obvious way to encourage more talented educators is to compensate teachers for excellence, rather than solely for seniority and advanced degrees, Chris Fazio, a Queens high school teacher, writes in the Daily News: ** An obvious way to encourage more talented educators is to compensate teachers for excellence, rather than solely for seniority and advanced degrees, Chris Fazio, a Queens high school teacher, writes in the Daily News:*The Department of Education is phasing out unhealthy lunch and breakfast items containing high levels of sodium and fat—which it promised to ban from school menus over a year ago, the Post writes:  * NYC fired 40 teachers over past 2 years, but hundreds more paid fines or still face hearings  …(WSJ) Tuesday Update Early School Parents Mad Parents in uproar as over 450 city schools make start time earlier to comply with new teachers union contract  (NYDN)* The state should rethink tenure as a way to reward teachers so that public schools become enterprises of learning, not a jobs program for bad teachers, the Post writes:  Seven families brought together by a new advocacy group created by ex-CNN anchor Campbell Brown filed their long-anticipated suit against New York yesterday, saying that tenure and seniority protections for teachers violate students’ rights to a sound basic education. Brown, who got teary announcing the lawsuit, played down her role in it, saying she’s “just proud to be holding the coats” of the plaintiffs.   The much-hyped Campbell Brown-backed lawsuit challenging the state’s teacher tenure law will be filed in Albany on Monday,*  New York Educators Fight Back on Attacks to Tenure(NYT)  * A report from the Families For Excellent Schools advocacy group shows that at nearly a quarter of New York City schools, 90 percent of students fail to read or do math at grade level, the Daily News reports: 
The United Federation of Teachers sent out a memo defending tenure laws after two parents groups in New York filed lawsuits to challenge it. 

New Math Poor Test Scores High Teacher Ratings?

For the first time, parents and administrators can assess the effectiveness of teachers at the county, district and, in some cases, the school level. 

* Because the state delayed the high-stakes accountability of Common Core tests for teachers, many of those whose students foundered on the tests won’t get intensive help to improve, the Journal writes:

The NY Teacher Tenure Lawsuit Has Started 

Fed up students file lawsuit to overthrow NY tenure laws(NYP) A group of fed-up students and parents on Thursday declared their independence from incompetent New York City teachers shielded by the state’s tenure and seniority laws.In the wake of a landmark anti-tenure ruling in California, the coalition of 11 students filed a class-action lawsuit in Staten Island state ­Supreme Court, seeking to eliminate protections afforded to bad teachers. “This lawsuit has to do with students’ rights and parents’ rights. We have to do away with the ‘students last’ policies. No one is talking about the children who are failing every day,” said Staten Island dad Sam Pirozzolo, a co-leader of the New York City Parents Union.*  Lawsuit Challenges New York’s Teacher Tenure Laws(NYT) In the wake of a landmark court decision in California, an education advocacy group says the laws violate the State Constitution’s guarantee of a “sound basic education.”*More Teacher Retire After Contract Approved * In the wake of a new contract that incentivizes teachers to retire, more New York City educators applied to leave last month than in the same period in recent years, Capital New York reports:  * In an audit, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the school system could not prove it sought competitive bids for an $88.1 million custodial supply contract and then failed to monitor overpayments, the Post writes:  * In the Times’ “Room for Debate,” a number of experts weigh in on the student-led approach to reading and writing known as “balanced literacy” that is making a comeback in New York City: * The lawsuit in California that struck down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-order layoff laws will not succeed in New York, Michael Rebell, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University writes in the Daily News
Sunday Parents, education advocates plan to defend teacher tenure against lawsuit filed by parents' reform group(NYDN)

Besides Pre-K Where are the News Education Programs From this Administration?  

 New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is pushing schools to adopt previously abandoned, unstructured teaching methods that education experts argue is incompatible with Common Core standards, The New York Times writes: City classroom trailers no longer count as public school space(NYDN)
*. Raising standards in New York’s schools(NYP)

* Inner-city neighborhoods must forget the myth that poverty and race are overwhelming barriers to a child’s ability to learn and use schools to equip poor children with the skills needed to escape poverty, Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz writes in the New York Post:


* The Times Union looks into the advantages and disadvantages of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 after a symposium on school technology attended by lobbyists, representatives of telecommunications and networking companies:

* At some New York City schools nearly 90 percent of suspensions are long-term, a tool that education experts, advocates and the city’s new schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, are seeking to reform, The New York World reports:
* New York City is among 60 of the nation’s largest urban school districts that are pledging to help President Barack Obama push an initiative to improve educational and job opportunities for African-American and Latino boys, Chalkbeat reports:
* A report from the Research Alliance for New York City Schools shows that greater attention for students, high expectations, and good teachers are important for running a great school, Chalkbeat reports:

* Six charter schools will offer pre-kindergarten classes for the first time next year, serving 198 pre-K students, and will be able to keep those students for kindergarten, solving a key concern of charter leaders, Chalkbeat reports:
* After years of strongly backing the Common Core, the American Federation of Teachers now plans to give its members grants to critique the standards—or write replacement standards from scratch, Politico writes:
* Rep. Chris Gibson has been outspoken in his criticism of the controversial Common Core curriculum, but will not be joining the state GOP’s effort to create a Stop Common Core ballot line, State of Politics reports:

UFT Campaign Power to Weaken Teacher Evalutions Again 

This Election Year All Those in Albany Running for Re-Election Will Do Flyers Stating Putting Children First
Leave all kids behind(NYP Ed) Maybe one day New York will have a meaningful way to fire lousy public-school teachers. But plainly not in time for the kids now stuck in their classrooms.
Because the message out of Albany is no one there is ready to do any such thing.  On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said he was “cautiously optimistic” about a deal with lawmakers to delay or relax at least some parts of the teacher-evaluation law.  UFT Over $300 Million in Fed Funding A federal education official who oversees Race to the Top implementation said if New York delays using student test scores as part of teacher evaluations it risks losing up to $292 million in funding, The Wall Street Journal writes:  The DOE plans to remove the 321 trailer classrooms across the city, but doesn't know where to put the students.* Cuomo is reportedly pushing a new, two-tiered “safety net” solution to the thorny problem of how to fix teacher evaluations in light of widespread anxiety about Common Core test scores.* Numbers of after-school programs in public middle schools to shoot up next fall (NYDN)* * Cuomo said tweaking teacher evaluations to address concerns with the new Common Core standards remains a top priority in the final days of the legislative session, State of Politics reports: * State Education Commissioner John King said dropping Common Core-aligned test scores from teacher evaluations would endanger federal funding, and suggested easing or delaying consequences of the ratings for teachers, Capital New York reports* New York state risks losing up to $292 million if it delays using student test scores to evaluate teachers this year, a federal education official said. [The Wall Street Journal] * The Post writes that the state high school graduation rate alone doesn’t show much, but the college/job-readiness figures, which show that only 37 percent of high school graduates are ready for either, are a better indicator:* A lawsuit to upend New York tenure laws(NYP)* A student-led approach to reading and writing known as balanced literacy, is poised to make a comeback in New York City classrooms – a move seen by some as a departure from recent trends in the city and nationwide. * New York school districts are preparing to change their snack and beverage offerings to comply with new federal nutrition guidelines and are bracing for a drop in sales revenue if students reject the relatively healthy options.

School's Boss Farina Protects Gifted Programs and Common Core
 Schools Chief Vows to Preserve Number of Gifted Programs and Their Exams(NYT)
Some advocates had hoped Chancellor Carmen Fariña would overhaul the gifted programs, which they see as a critical front in the effort to reduce inequality in the school system.* * Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced another layer of reform to the education system by securing funding for 40 community schools to open during the 2014-15 school year, City &amp; State reports:
Daily News Keep Common Core Stick to core values (NYDN Ed) With unions raising a stink about the remote possibility that a tiny fraction of classroom educators might lose their jobs for failing kids, Gov. Cuomo and Albany legislators are poised to hit pause on using results on Common Core tests as one piece of teacher evaluations. That would be a big mistake.The Daily News writes that a proposal to pause the use of Common Core tests as one piece of teacher evaluations is nothing but a two-year break from true accountability, with a push to permanently decouple meaningful measures of student learning from evaluations sure to follow Teacher Evaluations  Cuomo Releases Teacher Evaluation Adjustment Bill(YNN)* Elite, Separate, Unequal (NYT) New York City’s top public schools must become more diverse.* Fariña doubles down on gifted programs
City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a new interview that she would preserve the current slate of public-school programs for gifted children, including the controversial gifted admissions exam for 4- and 5-year-olds instituted under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That and similar entryways have been criticized for shutting out children from low-income households. [The New York Times]

NYC Students Still Failing At Reading At Math
New York State Students Post Slight Gains on Tests(NYT)
Twenty-nine percent of students in New York City passed in reading, up from 27 percent; the passing rate for math rose by about four percentage points.* TINY STEP FORWARD: New York City students make modest gains on state exams; racial achievement gap widens(NYDN) *Two-thirds of students who didn't graduate need Common Core(NYDN) * Common Core testing creates a narrative of failure (NYDN)* Score one for the Core(NYDN Ed) Kids are learning - but there's much more to be done. Results from the second year of Common Core state tests lead to two unmistakable conclusions.Stuyvesant’s test isn’t the problem First, more kids are learning. The chorus of “can’t” — made up of union leaders, politicians and some parents and teachers who doubted children could possibly master the material required under demanding new standards — was wrong. If responsible adults show fortitude, and if they have the sense to learn from schools that are making the biggest gains, children can and will achieve in ever-greater numbers. Second, the progress thus far, while cause for hope, is too slow and too slight — with nearly two-thirds of city kids still scoring below grade level in math, and more than two-thirds falling short in English. Which means celebrating achievement cannot for a moment breed complacency.* De Blasio (and rivals) nod to Bloomberg on test scores(Capital) Sharing credit on modest improvements* Dept. of Ed. adjusts Common Core proficiency thresholds(NYP) * Cap NY: "The de Blasio administration's narrative about Thursday's release of test scores was predictable; modest gains are modestly good news, even if the city has much more work to do on student achievement."* * For the second year in a row, New York City girls in grades 3-8 outscored boys on state math tests, with 35.2 percent passing this year, compared to 33.4 percent of boys passing, the Post writes: *  The state should launch a study to understand why charter school students had higher ELA and math scores on state tests in order to improve public schools, the Daily News writes: *
Gonzalez: School officials lose $356M in special education funds over sloppy accounting(NYDN)
* Public school teachers are suing New York City to take control of their lesson plans away from supervisors and keep them solely in the hands of teachers—a move that scored an “F” from reformers, the Post writes:

Success Academy makes up top 7 of 15 of state’s top-scorers(NYP)
Seven out of the state’s 15 top-scoring schools on math proficiency tests this year were Success Academy charter schools — the same network targeted by Mayor de Blasio earlier this year in a fight over classroom space.
An astounding 93.9 percent of Success students passed the Common Core math exam and 64.5 percent passed the English proficiency test, a significant jump from last year and more than double the pass rate of all public schools citywide.* New York’s test scores message: Save our students!(NYP) New York’s school leaders are citing “progress” in the state test scores released Thursday. Yet for most kids now in the public schools, the message is depressing: Even if you graduate, you probably won’t be prepared for college or a job.City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña actually called Thursday’s scores “wonderful news” (though she admitted they could be better). Mayor de Blasio called it “a good day” for city schools. * Test data showing thousands opting out of state exams perplexes officials(NYDN)

Success Academy is living up to its name. Seven out of the state’s 15 top-scoring schools on math proficiency tests this year were Success Academy charter schools — the same...
This year’s Common Core tests show kids are learning but progress is too slow, with nearly two-thirds of city kids still below grade level in math and more than two-thirds falling short in English* Scores Remain Low, But City Students Make Progress on Standardized Exams(NY1) * The New York State United Teachers union announced it will not endorse a candidate in this year’s governor’s race. [Crain’s New York Business]* More NYC students were proficient on this year's math and reading tests, but two thirds still don't meet standards.(WNYC) * Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the standardized test gains made by students, half of which was under his predecessor, but said he would look to improve with his own educational policies, the Observer reports: *Math is for girls (NYDN Ed) Award-winning genius Maryam Mirzakhani destroys another stereotype

“QUIZ: Are You Smart Enough to Get Into Private Kindergarten?” by DNAinfo’s Amy Zimmer: “Some of the city's most elite private schools will soon require 4-year-olds to take a new, harder admissions test given on an iPad and designed to assess math and literacy skills. The educational services company ERB's Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (AABL) will be given for the first time in October and is a significant departure from the previous, IQ-like test most New York City private schools required for the past 45 years. While the new test is much cheaper for families … experts believe many parents will shell out even more on classes and books to prepare their toddlers for it.” See test questions:

* Rep. Charles Rangel is giving the teachers union a lesson in political retribution for endorsing his rival state Sen. Adriano Espaillat for Congress by vigorously supporting the expansion of non-unionized charter schools, the New York Post reports:
* The new Buffalo Board of Education majority intends to propose significant changes when it meets Wednesday, such as increasing the number of charter schools and lobbying for more state intervention in the school system, but the plan hangs on garnering support from many stakeholders, The Buffalo News reports:
* A report from New Visions for Public Schools looks at the strategies employed by Phil Weinberg, New York City’s deputy chancellor for teaching and learning, when he worked at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, where graduation rates shot up more than 35 percent during his tenure, Chalkbeat reports:
* Although de Blasio has had a nearly singular focus on providing needy students with expanded education services, thousands fewer will be attending summer school this year after city officials changed the way students qualify for the program, Chalkbeat reports:

Saturday Daily News Picks Up on the Friday's NYP's UFT Taping Story Sabotaging Education Reformers

School critics say teachers union deal doesn't help kids — it's 'petty politics'(NYDN) After teachers union president Michael Mulgrew gloated about the labor deal in a leaked recording, critics of the $5.3 billion deal are fighting back, saying the contract isn’t good policy. Michael Mulgrew said he’s at war with education reformers — and now they’re fighting back over his dismissive comments and the teachers contract they say condemns students to subpar schooling. Jenny Sedlis of Students FirstNY, a pro-charter, anti-union group, called Mulgrew’s victory lap “shameless.”“For anyone that thought this was about kids, we know this is the truth,” said Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor and outspoken critic of the union. Critics said a close reading of the memorandum of agreement between the city and union reveals the new process of terminating teachers in the 1,200-strong costly Absent Teacher Reserve doesn’t actually increase the likelihood they’ll be canned.*IT'S 'PETTY POLITICS': School critics slamming teachers union $5.3 billion deal and UFT boss Michael Mulgrew(NYDN) * Mulgrew’s wicked game(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio just struck a major deal with a union boss who boasts about using negotiations to gut reforms he claimed to support.* Teachers lose retroactive pay in if they quit before 2020(NYP0

Finally: The Post is no longer alone in claiming the teachers union acted in bad faith. The union’s boss says so himself

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
 Parents, staff &amp; pols won’t support union head’s reform ‘war’(NYP) * A union boss confesses(NYP Ed) United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew has admitted he and his union are “at war with the reformers.” He said they sought “to one more time wink at Bloomberg” — the union had clashed bitterly with the former mayor — “and say ‘gotcha.’ ” Mulgrew confessed his real aim was to “gum up the works” to thwart any teacher ratings: “We had a goal that this year would be the first and only year” teachers were subjected to the new system. In the end, Mulgrew’s secret war paid off. He waited for a sympathetic mayor, Bill de Blasio, to give him what he wanted. And as StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis noted on these pages Friday, the city’s kids got little in return.

Campaign 2013: UFT Gumming Up the  City Council's Checks and Balances Role With Campaign Contributions
The UFT PAC Contributed to 31 of the 51 Council Members

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
When we think "outside spending," it's usually corporations who come to mind, but with the education system becoming further and further embroiled in controversy over efficiency and charter schools, it makes sense that this would be a key race for educators' unions such as UFT. The United Federation of Teachers, through its political spending body, "United for the Future," has spent the most money of any group in the race, $3.3 million on 37 elections. United for the Future contributed to the following 31 of the 51 council members.

Thomas Jefferson Fought Centralized Power, UFT's Mulgrew Worked With the Advance Group to Centralized With Money NYC's News Progressive Tammany Hall

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Inez Dickens (Advance Client), Corey Johnson (Berlin Rosen Client) (running against Advance client Yetta Krukland), Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Paul Vallone (Mercury Client), Rosie Mendez, Councilman Andrew King, Councilman James Vacca (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Annabel Palma (Red Horse Client), Councilman Costa Constantinides, Mark Weprin (Hudson TG), Councilman Daneek Miller (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Richard Donovan (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Antonio Reynoso (Red Horse Client), Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (Advance Client), Councilwoman Inez Barron, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Councilman Alan Maisel (Brandford), Councilman Mark Treyger (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Debra Rose (Brandford), Councilman Steven Matteo, Councilman Robert Jackson (Boro President Candidate), Councilman Vincent Ignizio.
Promises to Turn About Trouble School That Will Not Be Closed   
City plan to provide intensive support for troubled schools(NYP)
Mayor Opposes Alarms On School Doors The de Blasio administration is opposing a bill that would require alarms on school doors, a measure that is being pushed for by the grandmother of Avonte Oquendo, the autistic teen who died last year after wandering away from school, the Daily News reports:

* New York City’s education department is looking to resurrect a special district designed to support struggling schools, a sign that the de Blasio administration is sticking to its pledge to flood the lowest performing schools with resources before it considers closing them, Chalkbeat reports:

Cuomo: Teacher evaluation moratorium would be “overkill” Undermining the elite high schools(NYP)

NYC IT Incompetence Continues Now With DOE Computers 

CityTime, 911 Emergency Phone System
Audit Faults New York Education Dept.'s Management of Computers(NYT) A report by the New York City comptroller’s office found what it called “grossly inaccurate” record keeping at the department, where hundreds of computers and tablets at some locations were either not in use or could not be found.* Alarming DOE auditbeing released by @scottmstringer today: * Audit: Thousands of School Computers Are Missing or Unused * NYC Public SchoolSystem 'Misplaces' 1,800 Computers; 400 Laptops &amp;amp; Tablets Found Unpacked - 

* The Success Academy charter school network, which clashed with Mayor Bill de Blasio over using public school space to start the year, wants to open 14 more schools over the next two years, the Times writes:
* Bills introduced in the state Legislature would change what critics argue is a discriminatory admissions policy for New York City’s most selective high schools, but there doesn’t appear to be great momentum for the legislation, the Times writes:

* The Daily News writes that lawmakers supporting a bill to impose new admissions standards on New York City’s top high schools are right to be unhappy that black and Hispanic teens are a small percentage of the student body, but their fix could undermine the bastions of excellence in education:

* State Sen. John Flanagan said he expects a agreement between the Senate and Assembly to change the state’s teacher evaluations law before the end of the session, State of Politics reports:
* Principals in New York City can now hire teachers in almost every subject area and grade without first having try and fill the positions with teachers already on the city payroll, Chalkbeat reports:
* SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and others argue that implementing Common Core standards should not be delayed, noting that more and more kids are falling behind, in an op-ed in the Huffington Post:

* New York City will create 39,500 new public school seats over the next five years with $4.4 billion in construction funds, reducing class sizes and eliminating trailers used as temporary classrooms, the Daily News reports:

* While the state’s current social studies curriculum was written in 1996, the Board of Regents recently adopted a new framework for social studies that serves as a guide for what students should know but doesn’t offer a full curriculum in the hope that schools will make some local choices, the Journal News writes:

* Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced 10,400 new full-day pre-kindergarten seats to be run by over 200 community-based organizations, part of the city’s bid to make 53,000 seats available by September, Chalkbeat reports:
* Hundreds of these community-based organization buildings have open Department of Buildings violations, Capital New York reports:
* New York led the nation in education spending in 2012, according to a report from the Citizen’s Budget Commission:
* With the 2014 legislative session coming to a close this month, lawmakers are zeroing in on school funding, teacher certification and teacher evaluations—areas perceived to be in need of reform, City & State reports:
* An arbitrator ruled last month that New York City principals may occasionally collect teachers’ lesson plans but may not dictate what to include in them, settling a prolonged city-union debate, Chalkbeat reports:
School hours in limbo under new teacher-union contract(NYP)Special ED Has Perks for the Workers
EXCLUSIVE: Churchill School, a private East Side special education school, shelled out more than $3 million in improper costs over a three-year period(NYDN) Among the impermissible expenditures state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s auditors uncovered at the Churchill School from the 2008 to 2010 school years were: hundreds of thousands of dollars for staff parties, liquor and flowers, excess pay for the chief executive, a student surfing trip to Puerto Rico and scores of new computers purchased by the school that disappeared or were discarded.

* The state comptroller found that dependence on gambling revenues grew over the past two decades, yet the share of state aid to school districts, which includes lottery revenues, is smaller now than when the lottery was created:
* English Regents exam test scores plummeted in 2013 after a new policy prevented teachers from grading tests administered at their own school, with the number of New York City students failing jumping from 27 percent to 35 percent, the Daily News writes:

NYC needs 1,000 new pre-k teachers, according to the DOE.

Scores on English Regents exams for high schoolers plummeted when the city cracked down on grade-fudging teachers, a Daily News analysis shows. Thousands of public school students failed the high-stakes state tests in 2013 after the city instituted new grading rules to prevent score inflation. A stunning 373 schools out of 490 saw their passing rates drop after new guidelines barred teachers from grading tests administered at their own school.

Will NYC Kill Excellence In Education?   
Don’t destroy New York City’s best high schools(NYP) Mayor de Blasio is obsessed with leveling the playing field throughout the city, i.e., producing equal outcomes. In response to a reporter’s question about the city’s specialized high schools last month, de Blasio repeated his assertion that the “schools don’t look like New York.” I’m sure that came as a surprise to the students, parents and alumni.

City Ads to Attract Pre-K Enrollment

City spending $600,000 for marketing blitz to boost city prekindergarten enrollment(NYDN) The splashy print, radio, Web and outdoor ad campaign is meant to boost enrollment in prekindergarten programs at community-based organizations around the city.

Bad Schools Open, But Losing Students  . . .    .

Poor Schools Not Being Closed . . . But, Parents and Students Closing Them With Their Feet

Wasting Students
City’s worst high school has hundreds of empty seats(NYP)  The troubled Springfield Gardens school is the least popular in the entire city, Department of Education statistics show. It raises the question why August Martin is still in business, considering it had a dismal 39 percent graduation rate in 2013 and got an “F” in student performance and progress. “This school holds students back, especially the ones who are doing well,” one anonymous student posted online. “They treat us and talk to us as if we’re animals.” The school also has a reputation for violence. Students committed at least 72 offenses in the 2011-2012 school year, including eight assaults, two sex offenses and 19 instances of intimidation, state records show.
More On Education and Charter Schools
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

Former IncludEd head to pay back $418K in bilked funds
ALBANY — The former head of a special-education company accused of bilking the city has avoided jail time by agreeing to pay back $418,000. Morton Kramer also agreed Friday to...
City to Receive Nearly a Billion in Federal Sandy Aid

* New York again led the nation in per pupil school spending at $19,552 per pupil in 2012, up 2.4 percent from 2011, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Gannett Albany reports:
 Now We Have Secret UFT Tapes That Take Credit for Sabotaging Education Reformers
Teachers union boss declares ‘war’ on school reform(NYP) Believing he was among friends, UFT boss Mike Mulgrew showed what he’s really made of during a closed-door meeting with union activists — spewing hatred toward education “reformers,” charter schools and even admitting he sabotaged teacher evaluations. “We are at war with the reformers,” Mulgrew said.  “Their ideas will absolutely destroy — forget about public education — they will destroy education in our country.” The Wednesday-night meeting of union delegates was closed to the press — but a union member taped Mulgrew’s comments and forwarded them to the Web site In another provocative admission, Mulgrew said he deliberately “gummed up” the implementation of teacher evaluations last year during negotiations with the prior Bloomberg administration. 

More Money for DOI to Fight Corruption . . .   
De Blasio boosts manpower to crack down on city corruption(NYP) de Blasio boosted the Department of Investigation’s budget by 20 percent — to $27.6 million from $21.9 million — DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said Friday, adding he’d hire 63 new staffers to work under the NYPD inspector general and analyze databases of contracts to find government waste and abuse. Peters said that his office has been involved in an investigation that led to Councilman Ruben Wills’ indictment this week on charges of stealing $30,500 in government funds.

More On The UFT Sabotage Plan
He lobbied to have teachers rated in 22 different categories, presumably to make it easier for teachers to contest bad ratings. The new labor contract reduces the number of rating categories to eight. “That’s things I don’t get to say in public when I’m doing them, because we knew they had a plan to use the new evaluation system to go after people.”School-reform leaders were outraged by Mulgrew’s remarks. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores rather than as a tool to improve schools for kids,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY.* Cynthia Nixon honored for aiding NYC pre-k program(NYP)  * The new contract for New York City’s teachers is a sweetheart deal for the United Federation of Teachers and it’s disappointing that a mayor who talked so much about fighting inequality would agree to a contract that delivers so little for children, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis writes in the Post* The satanic details(NYP Ed) The mayor got his press conference, the union chief got his revenge — and the city’s schoolchildren got nothing.  Bonuses for serving at failing, “hard-to-staff” schools will go to teachers who are not effective. The contract language clearly states that teachers who are rated as “developing” — that is, who are getting help in hopes they become effective — will qualify for the bonuses.* The Mulgrew story landed on the front page of the New York Post, which reported on the subsequent outrage among school-reform advocates. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY. “It is so cynical and proves that this is someone who does not care about kids,” said activist Campbell Brown.* Well, we'd sure see how much NYers like a strike by 6-figure teachers who pay nothing for healthcare * The mayor will borrow a good $2½ billion to pay for operating expenses..." warns:* *After* health savings, annual cost of these labor agreements (still unfunded) = $865m in 2015, $2.1b by 2018. Why 2018 gap up eightfold. * Big picture here (p45 of budget doc) is that unpaid-for labor deal(s) massively increasing outyear deficits - doubled 2016 budget to $2.2bn. Takeway from book: unfunded labor agreements massively increase outyear gaps - double gap to $2.2b for 2016, up 8x to $3.2b by 2018.
 Catholic schools that saved so many kids need rescuing(NYP)

Upstate insult:State funding for full-day pre-K programs tilted toward NYC - City & Region - The Buffalo News
* With a new tax rebate for homeowners in school districts that abide by Cuomo’s 2 percent property tax cap, it will be harder for communities to override it in budget votes on Tuesday, City & State writes:
* Eighty percent of 283 school business officials surveyed by the state School Boards Association said they will be able to avoid layoffs if their budgets are approved tomorrow, Gannett Albany reports:
* Sixty years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, New York must still reduce racial isolation and demand equal resources in New York City, Public Advocate Letitia James writes in the Huffington Post:

. Judge expels James’ bid to shut down ‘co-located’ charter schools

Education and the UFT Contract . . .       
Its Not About Countering Charters, Its was the Mission of Charter Schools to Pressure Public Schools to Change 
Two-thirds vote from teachers required in new contract(NYT) * City and charters settle on an expensive Catholic-school ‘Band-Aid’(Capital) The de Blasio administration and New York City's charter sector are looking to empty Catholic schools as a solution to their fight over shared school space, though that space won't come cheap for the city. * * In a closed-door meeting with public school teachers Wednesday, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew offered a behind-the-scenes account of the recent contract negotiations with the city, arguing that the deal was the union’s best chance at winning a “war with the reformers” and admitting that the union’s position last year on a controversial part of the new teacher evaluation system was designed to “gum up the works” when it was rolled out this year, Chalkbeat reports:

More Details of the Teacher Union Agreement 
More on Edcuation

* Pension data for retired New York public school teachers and administrators was posted online at SeeThroughNY’s website after a landmark court of appeals ruling last week, the Empire Center reports:
* A judge cited a technicality in tossing out a lawsuit that challenged New York City’s charter school co-location process and pitted de Blasio against his progressive allies, the Daily News reports:

State Education Commissioner John King says truly universal pre-K in New York is years away.
Important IBO report on segregated *teachers* in NYC public schools - the poorer the school, the fewer white teachers

* The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University calls for greater oversight of charter schools, which are expanding rapidly in New York City, where over half of all 183 charter schools have opened since 2007:
* A report from The Center for Popular Democracy highlights the potential for waste, fraud and abuse at charter schools amid rapid growth and gaps in oversight:

* U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a visit to the Bronx Charter School for Excellence said he’d be willing to work with de Blasio to expand charter schools, despite criticising him in the past, the Observer reports:
Top teachers union officials approved New York City’s new teachers’ union contract, which will be voted on again today by the United Federation of Teachers’ Delegate Assembly and is expected to be ratified by the full membership of the union, the Daily News writes: * Charter School Leaders Skip Out on Council Hearing(NY1)

* With the state ordering teachers and principals not to disclose any contents of last month’s standardized English tests, 37 New York City principals have spoken bluntly about the design and quality of the tests, the Times’ Jim Dwyer writes: * amNewYork writes that what’s currently on the table about New York City’s deal with the United Federation of Teachers are hard numbers for pay raises but also troublingly murky statements about how they’ll be covered: * Dig into the deal (NYDN ED) We're learning more about the teachers' contract* Moody’s: Jury’s Out On UFT Contract Deal(YNN)

Media Spin Doctors Often Control What the Public Reads in the News and Understands
Gadfly George Spitz created the Five Borough NYC Marathon, now the most successful sports event in the city and gets no credit for his invention. The credit is often given to the Rudin family which funds the even Yesterday the media led by the mayor's spin doctors gave the man who was not in the battle, but marched into town to declare victory for creating the Innovated Schools Plan. In Las Vegas there is not even a single plaque naming the man who invented the town mobster Bugsy Siegel. The Mayor of the City of New York should be big enough to name the Tweed Court House the Bloomberg Building. The building naming ceremony could be a good chance for them to catch up and compare notes.  De Blasio Counters Charters With His Own ‘Innovation’ Schools(NYO) New York City’s new teacher’s union contract includes a plan to create up to 200 “innovation” schools that can bypass usual Department of Education rules, similar to charter schools. Teachers Question Pay-for-Performance Element in Proposed Contract (NYT) Some say a new agreement that would pay extra to New York teachers who take on more work is too good to be true, while others welcome the raises.* I think we got a fair deal, but the devil is in the details:' Teachers cautiously optimistic on new city contract(NYDN) * Mulgrew: Education contract is a good deal, especially for kids(NYDN) * Teachers' unions are planning an onslaught of online advertising to protest the pro-charter conference (Capital)
Fieldston and University Heights are in the same borough but worlds apart. How much understanding between their students can a well-told story bring? (NYT) Rich City, Poor City: How it feels to have and have not in NYC 
Easy to Open New Charters  New state law changes makes opening charter schools in New York City easier than any other in nation (NYDN) * Schools Chancellor, City's First Lady Participate in Citywide Parent Conference(NY1) * Unions plan pop-up ads for pro-charter conference(Capital)

de Blasio Wins Single Buyer Health Care Saving From the Unions
Still Work Ahead for Other Contract Agreements
* New York City municipal union members could receive a bonus equivalent to 1 percent of their salaries if the city saves more than $3.4 billion in healthcare costs over the next four years, the Journal reports:
Labor leaders back de Blasio health-care overhaul(NYP)The Municipal Labor Council’s steering committee approved the measure, 20 to 2, with only the heads of the detectives and firefighters unions dissenting. The health-care changes — which include centralizing purchases of prescription drugs and medical tests — is expected to save the city $1.3 billion in the new city contract with the teachers union. But opponents say they were rushed into the deal. *Labor Union Council Approves de Blasio's Health Care Savings Deal (DNAINFO) * Labor Leaders Say Mayor Still Has Work Ahead With Settling Contracts(NY1) *NYPD Union Blasts de Blasio Offer of No Retroactive Raises Despite UFT Deal(DNAINFO)Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch blasted the city's offer of no raises.* Two no votes for de Blasio’s health care deal(Capital) * Gonzalez: City union leaders to fund raises with $1 billion transfer from health account(NYDN)

Mulgrew boasts of victories in new teachers union contract(NYP)
* De Blasio gives away the store in teachers contract(Goodwin, NYP) You don’t have to be a cynic to worry that the bonhomie between the union and the union-backed mayor was sealed with hugs, as de Blasio and Fariña each shared an embrace with Michael Mulgrew, boss of the United Federation of Teachers. But while raises are certain, concessions are elusive. More than $1 billion in savings to the city are claimed through vague changes to health-care programs, but teachers won’t pay anything more toward their premiums, a foolish giveaway on de Blasio’s part that will hobble the budget forever. hat gets to the big problem. Nothing in the contract, and nothing the mayor and Fariña say about it, gives any reason to hope that student performance will improve. That’s no incidental omission. At the same time, they say schools are in a state of “crisis” because so few of the 65 percent of students who get a diploma are prepared for college or a career. To take them at their rhetoric, they are committed to solving that crisis.This contract does not keep faith with that commitment. It doesn’t even try.* Michelle Rhee says the reforms in the deal struck by de Blasio with the UFT aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. 

Back to the 70's Budget? Where’s Scott?(NYP Ed) Budget watchdogs raise their eyebrows over such things. Remember, borrowing from the future to pay current-day (let alone past) expenses was a chief reason the city nearly went belly-up in the ’70s. You don’t take out a loan to pay the grocery bill.The contract deal with the teachers isn’t exactly the same, of course. In the ’70s, the city routinely assumed debt to cover budget shortfalls; de Blasio hasn’t signaled any intention of doing that. This deal also includes $1 billion in health-care savings, though we don’t yet have the details about how the city will realize those gainsThat’s where Stringer comes in. As city comptroller, Stringer’s job is to look at New York’s financial obligations and sound the alarm if he spots risky moves.* MAYOR’S KUMBAYA UFT DEAL: While New York City’s deal with UFT is sure to guarantee labor peace and loyalty and support for Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of impact on the city’s coffers, new City &amp; State columnist Gerson Borrero writes: * The Post writes that only an honest and thorough-going analysis of New York City’s labor agreement with the UFT, which Comptroller Scott Stringer said he’ll review in his budget analysis, will re-assure New Yorkers that the city isn’t about to repeat the mistakes of the 1970s: *  * Success Academy Leader Eva Moskowitz was noticeably absent from a City Council hearing on charter schools where the issues of purported harsh disciplinary tactics and selective admittance were raised by councilmembers, the Daily News reports:
Bloomberg Won the Education War 
While the the UFT's Mulgrew was busy hugging DOE's Fariña for agreeing to a contract that the city fathers before the 1977 financial bankruptcy would be proud of. What was missed by media who covered the spin doctors love fest at city hall was that the biggest winner of this contract was Mayor Bloomberg for the inclusion of the Innovation’ Schools Plan included in the contract agreement. Bloomberg took a lot of heat on education, some of it deservedly so, some of it as a change agent on attacking the education bureaucracy with a lot of people feeding off of keeping the education gravy train the way it is. Bloomberg along with his Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott fought Albany for control and won and pitch a school building by school building battle to create charter school to show examples of a better way to educate our school children.

CM Dromm Foe Of Charters Goes After Their Leasing Arrangements ?  

Monday Update 
Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between(NYT)Although a primary rationale for charter schools is to test practices for wider public-school use, battles over space and money have inhibited attempts at collaborat

Charter schools paying millions in taxpayer money to middlemen while students suffer(NYDN) Brooklyn Dreams pays $2.3 million to for-profit firm National Heritage Academies to lease space from the Catholic Church — at a price much higher than what the city would normally pay. Dozens of for-profit vendors such as NHA are collecting millions from charter schools, but can't always account for how it's spent. Parents say for all the funding, charter school students are still being shortchanged.On a quiet Ditmas Park side street, taxpayers shell out $2.3 million a year to lease space from the Catholic Church for a charter school called Brooklyn Dreams. What’s shrouded in a cloak of secrecy is whether the arrangement is a good deal for the taxpayer. That’s because a for-profit firm called National Heritage Academies acts as a middleman, renting space from the church at rates it calls “private.” Then NHA sublets the space to Brooklyn Dreams. The firm charges the school $46.99 per square foot — much more than the $14.25 to $25.50 per square foot the city typically pays to lease school space from the church. In effect, the for-profit company is charging the taxpayers at a far higher rate— in some cases more than double — than what the city would normally pay to rent space for public schools. Each year dozens of for-profit vendors are paid by charters, including accountants, financial advisors and real estate brokers. One company, the Manhattan-based Charter School Business Management Inc., has experienced 176% growth since 2009, with revenue growing from $1.4 million to $3.8 million in 2012. CM Dromm wants to know how these contracts are awarded, if there’s competitive bidding to hold down costs and whether board members have financial ties to vendors hired by the schools — a conflict that’s emerged several times in recent years.

Dromm Beats the UFT Drums Against Charters
Opponents blast charter schools at testy hearing(NYP)  Charter-school opponents bludgeoned the schools’ leaders during an eight-hour City Council Education Committee hearing Tuesday — in sharp contrast to Mayor de Blasio’s recent bid to mend ties with charter operators. Committee Chairman Daniel Dromm wore an orange United Federation of Teachers shirt inside-out to protest one charter school’s disciplinary policy.* Beating the Dromm(NYP ED) * A real win for NYC’s schoolkids(NYP) * Success Academy boss Eva Moskowitz a no-show for City Council hearing on charter schools(NYDN)

Change Agent Role of Charters Forgotten By All

At city hall they celebrated the victor of Innovation School Plan not the change agent that made that deal possible. The reporters who covered the story have no understanding that charter schools were not created to take over the public schools system, but were created to put pressure on the public schools to change.  Even the well paid flack for the charters Stu Loeser did not understand the change role of the schools he represents.  

NYT Was Happy There Was No Snarling and Gave Bloomberg and Charters No Credit For the  Innovation’ Schools Plan
 A Teachers’ Contract for New York(NYT Ed) Though imperfect, the agreement is a good deal for the city and its students. NYT Said the raises were reasonable, but several missed opportunities and unanswered questions. NYT says instead of finding over a billion in health saving in the city's system a far better approach would have required union members to pay at least modestly more for health care premiums, on par with what workers pay under comparable public and private sector employers. Previous mayors have barely been able to touch benefits that were once considered sacrosanct, and Mr. de Blasio’s good will now gives him a chance to achieve significant savings, improvements in services and labor peace. * NYP Not Happy New York City can’t afford the teachers contract(NYP ED) * BIG SAVINGS AT BIG COST: Mayor de Blasio and teachers union plan achieving $3.4 billion in health care savings relies on tapping billion-dollar-reserve fund(NYDN)

Principal probed over sex in school during class hours(NYP)

The possibly catastrophic new contract with NYC’s teachers(NYP)The principals ducked on the particulars Thursday, including how much the pact will truly cost, how those costs are to be covered and whether some highly imprecise claims concerning classroom practices, teacher productivity and workforce discipline have any real-world relevance. Indeed, de Blasio essentially asked New York to assume his good faith and to accept the $4 billion deal (or could it be $5.5 billion?) on its face, no questions asked. Terming the deal a “landmark agreement” achieved on an “historic day” (does anybody see a trend here?), the mayor explained that it won’t work without more than a $1 billion in health-insurance savings — but, even so, that it would require no appreciable reductions in health-care services for UFT members. Not to belabor the point, but this also makes no practical sense, either. It simply doesn’t work on its face — especially given that first-quarter health-care spending nationally is up an astounding 9.9% from a year ago, mostly driven by demand-pull inflation.* Sunday Update Kids will run show at parent-teacher conferences: Farina(NYP) * Chirlane McCray praises teachers contract(NYDN)  *Union Holding Up Education Standards The Times Union writes that a union request to delay new K-12 teacher certification requirements that was granted by the state Education Departments once again holds up the push for higher education standards:

* The Northeast Charter Schools Network gave New York an “F” for funding inequality after a University of Arkansas study found the state’s charter schools get 24.7 percent less in funding per pupil per year than traditional public schools: 
* De Blasio’s proposed contract with the teacher’s union would have instructors spending less time with students in exchange for more time spent in professional training programs and on parent outreach, Chalkbeat reports:
* The contract would also mean an 18 percent increase in teacher pay by 2020 and a $1,000 bonus when the deal is ratified, but it also allows the city to more easily fire teachers who are deemed incompetent, Chalkbeat reports:

 * New York public school students failed to boost their scores significantly on the State Regents exams last year: of 10 overall subjects, three showed no change, three rose slightly and four declined, the Daily News reports:

"Full day" pre-K seats not enough for some parents who require year-round programs with longer hours:

Pre-K Application Sign-Up Up
City's pre-K applications up by more than a third, DOE says: (DNAINFO) * Applications for New York City’s prekindergarten programs rose by 36 percent this year, an expected boost given de Blasio’s highly visible push for universal prekindergarten, the Times reports:

New York City’s schools chancellor said in December that she would limit state exams’ role in measuring student progress, but test prep, and the anxiety it causes, is as robust as ever.

Kindergarten Consultants, Less Waiting

Waiting Lists for Kindergarten Drop by Half, New York City Says(NYT)
In some neighborhoods, the process of applying for kindergarten has come to resemble a mini-Ivy League, with parents hiring consultants, touring scores of schools and inundating online forums.* Officials say a new application system cut New York City’s kindergarten waiting list in half this year, with more than 67,000 children applying for spots and all but 11 percent not receiving seats at their preferred schools, The New York Times reports: * About 71% of City Students Received First Choice for Kindergarten(WSJ) The city Department of Education sent letters Monday to families who applied by a February deadline to attend kindergarten in the fall and said 47,725 students - or 71% - got their first choice.Cha Charter Schools* Moskowitz sounds an alarm, to the puzzlement of city and state officials(Capital) * City Says It's Close to Finding New Homes for Three Charters
Moskowitz's Charter Schools Get New Homes

Charter schools get new life(Fox 5) Alternative space for Harlem Success Academy 4, Success Academy Jamaica, and Success Academy City Hall was secured in three former Catholic school buildings that meet the necessary requirements and standards for occupancy by students.* City Finds New Homes for Three Success Charter Schools(NY1) *City finds space for three Success schools(Capital) *New York Finds Space for 3 Charter Schools(NYT) * NYC cuts deal with mayor’s charter-school nemesis(NYP) Mayor Natural Relation With UFT  Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Saturday that he had a "natural partnership" with UFT President Michael Mulgrew (WSJ)  Mayor Talks to UFT De Blasio Administration Gets Warm Welcome at UFT's Spring Conference (NY1) * De Blasio Administration Gets Warm Welcome at UFT's Spring Conference(NY1) * The Post writes that now that New York City is allowing three new charter schools to open, Mayor Bill de Blasio should tell City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to drop her anti-charter lawsuit, he should call on the state to lift its cap on charters and he should visit a charter school: 
More on the Charter School War   and Here

Success Academy Charter Schools rake in $7.75M from swank fund-raiser.

 * The state Board of Regents voted unanimously to allow teaching hopefuls who fail New York’s new, controversial certification exam before the end of June 2015 to still receive their teaching certificate, Gannett Albany reports:
de Blasio 180 on Charter Schools
New York City charter schools won a pair of legal victories this week when the United Federation of Teachers lost its anti-charter lawsuit and Mayor Bill de Blasio defended school-sharing plans approved by the Bloomberg administration, the Daily News reports: * De Blasio’s lawyers defend charter schools in stunning reversal(NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s lawyers claim the Bloomberg administration’s controversial charter school co-locations were thoroughly planned and proper — an amazing turnaround from de Blasio’s campaign rhetoric last year.* Andrew Cuomo, 'charter champion' (Capital) * Teacher tenure vs. kids(NYDN Ed) West Coast school fight that matters here. Nine California students are in court challenging that state’s teacher tenure laws as subjecting low-income and minority kids to subpar educations.

Moskowitz sounds an alarm, to the puzzlement of city and state officials(Capital)

HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES – “NY state high school Class of 2012: On-time graduation rate slightly below US average,” by AP’s Karen Matthews: “A new report on high school graduation rates shows that 77 percent of New York state's class of 2012 graduated on time. The graduation rate for low-income New Yorkers was 68 percent, while New York students who weren't low-income had a graduation rate of 84 percent. New York ranks 34th in the nation for students graduating on time. The national rate is 80 percent.”

Campbell Brown attacks comrade for protecting status quo unions that are destroying education in NYC at gala

* New York’s decision last month to withdraw from a controversial student-data portal appears to be the knockout punch for Atlanta-based company inBloom, Gannett Albany reports:

NYC says it's close to finding new homes for 3 charters the mayor blocked from opening inside other schools

NYP Back to the Future Social Promotion?

Monday Education Update
Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed) Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests* City will spend $10M to raise starting pay for pre-K teachers (NYDN)

Sunday Education Update
New York City Schools Chancellor Calls for ‘Back-to-Basics Approach’(NYT) New York Chancellor Details Schools Plan At a speech on Saturday, Carmen Fariña said she would aim to reduce class sizes and curb the use of suspensions at the city’s public schools.Here's the full text of Fariña's speech marking her first 100 days * Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed)
Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests, which serve as the basis for weeding out ineffective teachers.* Schools boss Fariña hints at 'new ways' to measure city schools(NYDN)Speaking to a crowd at Teachers College, Columbia University, Fariña said that in the coming months, the city Education Department would study how to best give parents information about the quality of schools, without slapping them with an 'often arbitrary' letter grade. Bloomberg-era tests no longer top criteria for student promotion: Fariña(NYP The de Blasio administration Wednesday scrapped the results of standardized exams as the chief measure for determining promotions in grades 3 through 8.  Undoing one of the major policies of the Bloomberg administration, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said teachers and principals would now adopt a more “holistic” approach that relies on everything, including classroom attendance, to determine which students move ahead and which get left back.Test scores would no longer be used as the “primary” or “major factor” in making those decisions, Fariña said.

“This new way forward maintains accountability, but mitigates the unintended consequences of relying solely on a single test,” Fariña said. Education reformers immediately questioned if the city was returning to the days when kids were promoted as they aged, regardless of their ability to make the grade. It also raised red flags because teachers have a stake in promoting students, since their evaluations are based, in part, on how well those students perform.* No child held behind(NYP Ed) * Educators might get to pick which students advance(NYDN) * What kids must learn(NYDN) With assurances galore that the city is not on the brink of returning to the bad old days — when students would be passed from grade to grade while learning squat — Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña rolled out a new policy weakening the role of state test scores in summer-school and student-promotion decisions. * What kids must learn (NYDN Ed) Fariña must avoid backsliding on social promotion in city schools. Carmen Fariña on her first 100 days(Capital) Picture  That Julia Louis-Dreyfus tattoo Rolling Stone cover is completely historically inaccurate! John Hancock didn't sign the Constitution, he signed The Declaration of the Independence

Will Education Changes in Promotion, Common Core and Testing Lead to A Better Education for Students?

Saturday Update
NYC schools protest ‘unfair’ state English tests(NYP)
Bill’s stranded children(NYP Ed) Among the accomplishments Mayor de Blasio cited in his speech Thursday, one was missing: classrooms for 500 charter-school kids whose space he swiped. Because he has yet to find them...* Charter school supporters, thanking Gov. Cuomo via direct mail. 

Friday Update
Common Core Gets Strong Defense From State Education Chief(NYT)
John B. King Jr., the education commissioner, fought back at criticism of the state’s efforts to adopt the standards and said there was no turning back.* The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:* More Than 2 Dozen NYC Schools Expected To Rally Against Common Core Exams(WINS) * The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:  *Education Commissioner Pushes Ahead(WSJ)
More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

Park Slolpe Tries to Keep Schools Integrated
The bizzaro politics of race, economics and education of Park Slope(NY Mag) New York State Has the Most-Segregated Schools in the Nation, Park Slope Collegiate was determined not to be one of them.* “I’m a data person,” says Pamela Mills, a brisk Hunter College professor with a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry. Back in 2000, test-score data led Mills and her wife, Eda Kapsis, to buy a two-bedroom co-op in the P.S. 321 zone in Park Slope. More recently, as Owen Kapsis reached fifth grade, the data drove the family somewhere else—into the general panic over competitive middle-school options in District 15, which stretches from the Slope and Cobble Hill to Sunset Park and Red Hook. On paper the district is more mixed than most: 40 percent Hispanic, 26 percent white, 16 percent black, and 16 percent Asian. But as Mills could readily see, the balance failed to translate to individual schools.


Parents and children of charter schools are caught between two well-funded interests. (NYDN) As of last week, the political action committees of the United Federation of Teachers and the four major charter backers were fairly evenly matched financially, a Daily News review found.

* A slew of Bloomberg-era officials are decamping from New York City’s Education Department, a sign of the school system’s changing priorities under Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Chalkbeat New York reports:

New York City Reducing Role of Tests in Advancing Students to Next Grade(NYT)Under the new policy, test scores would still be used in judging which students to hold back, but they would not be the dominant factor.* State Test Scores No Longer the Major Factor in Student Promotions(WSJ)* NYC, famously liberal &amp; proudly diverse, has US's most racially segregated school system. in

Bloomberg-era exams no longer top criteria for student promotion: Fariña(NYP)
New York City Reducing Role of Tests in Advancing Students to Next Grade (NYT)

After a push from the higher education unions, lawmakers are considering a bill that would delay new teacher-certification requirements for another year.* Upper East Side Won't Get Any New Pre-K Seats Under Citywide Expansion(DNAINFO) More than 200 pre-K seats will be added to District 2 schools, but none are on the Upper East Side.

As the Students Failure Increases Pols Spin Credit for Winning the Education War

Monday Update Arts Education Lacking in Low-Income Areas of New York City, Report Says(NYT) Classrooms in places like the South Bronx and central Brooklyn tend to have fewer state-certified arts teachers, according to a report by Scott M. Stringer, a New York City comptroller.* One in seven of city’s high schools provide inadequate arts ed(NYP)* Charter schools thank Cuomo for ‘championing’ program(NYP)* NYSUT Representative Assembly delegates passed a resolution opposing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Teacher Excellence fund program.* Common Core Delay? The Daily News writes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a stunning and unwelcome reversal by hinting that he’s open to delaying the use of student performance on Common Core tests for teacher evaluations:  Number of eligible ‘gifted’ NYC students plummets(NYP) The number of students who qualified for the city’s gifted and talented programs in grades K-to-3 plummeted this year, education officials announced Friday. Only 26 percent of kids who took the entrance test were deemed eligible to attend the elite district and city-wide programs, down from 33 percent last year, the city Department of Education reported.*Dumb Tests Tricks “Adults... administrators, teachers who have been valedictorians...couldn’t agree on the answers" on new state exam (DNAINFO) * State Tests Prompt Protests in Brooklyn (WSJ) Parents, teachers, and school administrators gathered outside Public School 321 in Brooklyn on Friday morning to protest the state English Language Arts standardized tests that had been administered to students this week.* Brooklyn Teachers Say Latest ELA Test Too Hard to Comprehend(NY1) * De Blasio faces daunting task in pre-K push (Fox 5)  Now that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has secured the funding for full-day pre-kindergarten, his administration faces the daunting task of hiring teachers and finding enough classrooms to be ready for 53,000 children by this fall and 20,000 more next year.* Bergtraum HS pitches shortcut for failing students(NYP) “Earn/make up your 2 US history credits and/or 2 Global History credits WITHOUT HAVING TO TAKE THE CLASS?” This is Murry Bergtraum’s latest scheme to help its lagging students get enough credits to move up and out. The Manhattan high school, two blocks from City Hall, has a logjam of “super-seniors” and other over-age kids behind schedule to graduate. “Less than one percent of our students will be able to pull something like this off,” a teacher said.Common Core DelaysSchools Chancellor Carmen FariñaMore On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter SchoolsMore on The Failed Education System

Caught in the School Debate(WSJ)
Two Harlem schools, P.S./M.S. 149 and a Charter Run by the Success Academy Charter Schools, lie at the heart of the battle over charter-school expansion in New York.

State Tests Prompt Protests in Brooklyn(WSJ)
Parents, teachers, and school administrators gathered outside Public School 321 in Brooklyn on Friday morning to protest the state English Language Arts standardized tests that had been administered to students this week.

* New York City is racing to allow charter schools to tap into new state funds allotted for its pre-kindergarten expansion plan, but charter leaders are still awaiting answers to a number of logistical questions that may determine whether they can open pre-K programs at all, Chalkbeat reports:
* PBS NewsHour reporter John Tulenko speaks with Jeffrey Henig, a political science and education professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, about the conflict between New York City’s government and Success Academy, Eva Moskowitz’s charter school network:

* While some school districts have seen an uptick in the number of students refusing to take state tests, the state still requires districts to have 95 percent of eligible students take them or face being considered to have failed to make adequate yearly progress, the Post-Standard reports: 

Board of Regents
The unexpected election of new Regent Josephine Finn has raised questions about how members of the Board of Regents are selected by lawmakers, the Times Union reports:

* State education officials have begun urgent talks with the state’s Board of Cooperative Education Services to store data from student test scores after ties with inBloom were severed, Gannett Albany reports:

Preparing Teachers for the Common Core(NYT)

A state oversight panel focuses on a crucial issue in the rollout of educational standards. New York, which adopted the standards in 2010, is one of the first states to create extensive Common Core-based curriculum materials and training kits. The problem is that many teachers in New York have not been given the time or the help they need to develop an understanding of the Common Core idea or to master the skills needed to teach it. This failure stems partly from the financial struggles of many districts. Some were actually cutting staff and reducing services to students as the Common Core was being rolled out; they had no money to devote to professional development. Even if the money had been available, professional development programs vary widely in quality from one district to another. The Legislature would do well to follow the Regents’ recommendations. If New York wants to install the Common Core and improve the quality of education it will need to put its money where its mouth is.

 Mayoral Control of the Schools Expires Next Year De Blasio’s antics puts mayoral control over schools at risk(NYP Ed) The law that gives the mayor control expires next year. This question fairly jumps out from Eva Moskowitz’s appeal to the state education commissioner to fight the denial of co-location to one of her Success Academies. The filing is being made on behalf of 19 parents of current and prospective pupils of a Success charter school in Harlem.* * A study of prekindergarten practices is being conducted as New York City and the state debate universal pre-K proposals, with the results possibly being used to shape a program in the city and elsewhere, The New York Times writes:  * UFT says that if New York City doesn’t raise teachers’ salaries in the upcoming contract negotiations, there could be an exodus of educators to the suburbs for higher-paying jobs, the Post writes: * While some educators fight hard for charter schools, some top charter officials are making close to or more than schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s $212,000 per year, The New York Times’ Michael Powell writes: * "Eva Moskowitz is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s problem now." (NY Mag)
Charter schools are public schools (NYDN) And that fact has implications both for their enemies and their leaders. "public schools... cultivate wealthy benefactors. Brooklyn Tech, where Dante de Blasio goes, has a sizable endowment"* De Blasio Continues Push for Universal Pre-K at Rally With Sharpton in Harlem(NY1) "We're not going to feel good if a few more kids make it, we want every single child to make it," de Blasio said. "And so when we talked about pre-K and after school, Chirlaine's right, we didn't say, 'Let's start slow, let's do this over 10 or 20 years.' We've been waiting too long for that."* Fariña apologizes for saying charters are ‘on their own’(Capital) * NYC mayor says he doesn't oppose charter schools(WSJ) * Strong words by de Blasio's wife on Cuomo's pre-K proposal: "I'm not ready to settle for crumbs or table scraps.." * Stories about how educators are a
Middle School's After School 2X Expansion
Connected to Pre-K, Mayor: Reinforcement of the Progress
de Blasio will release a report detailing his $190 million plan to expand after-school programs for middle school students, with 95,000 slots provided in a total of 512 schools throughout the city, The Wall Street Journal writes:  “The after-school piece is crucial because it is a substantial reinforcement of the progress that we hope to make with early-childhood education,” said mayor, who is pushing for a tax hike to fund the plan.* . to double number of middle-school students in after-school programs* Pre-kindergarten plan could be boom for landlords(NYP) * Mayor Proposes Doubling Size of After-School Program(NY1)

NYP Charter Parents Ask for the Same Chance As the Mayor's Son
Charter parents blast Bill: Give our kids same chance as Dante(NYP) Shut-out charter-school parents pleaded with Mayor de Blasio Friday to rethink his decision to yank their classrooms, saying they just want their kids to have the same opportunities as his son, Dante.  “If he closes our schools, where does that leave our kids? I would love for our son to be like Dante,” said Latoya Grant, whose 11-year-old daughter attends the Success Academy charter on West 111th Street. Dante de Blasio goes to one of the city’s elite public high schools, Brooklyn Tech. Threatened Success Academy students show their stuff(NYP)* 80 yrs ago, LaGuardia made gangster Lucky Luciano public enemy #1. Today, Mayor de Blasio targets educator .

Oh Really, DN: What is the Pre-K Plan?

A City That Need Years Delay to Teach the Core Curriculum Can Set Up Pre-K for 53,600 4-Year-Olds in 5 Months

Elementary, Mr. Mayor(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio is making the hard sell on pre-K. The city, he now reports, has found more than enough classroom space to offer full-day, high-quality early childhood education to 53,600 4-year-olds just six months from now. So far, he has produced a 14-page report followed by a 10-page report, both full of rhetorical flourishes alongside hard facts. This does not an implementation plan make. Charter school applications are many times more detailed. So too the plans sure to be required by Cuomo before the state opens its funding taps or — unlikely — approves de Blasio’s tax. Who will be in charge? Right now, an unworkable five agencies oversee pre-K instruction and facilities. What about staff? Transportation?  And what exactly will the little ones do when they show up on day one? Oh, right. That.ear * What is the ID Card Plan? Some in other cities say developing and implementing an ID card program can be difficult and takes years, not the months that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would have to get a program up by the end of this year, The Wall Street Journal writes: * NY1 Exclusive: Tax Break Bill Proposes Letting NYers Donate to Education Organization Instead * De Blasio to pre-K supporters: ‘We will win’(Capital) * Albany Pro: Why de Blasio won’t yield on pre-K(Capital)

McCray Lobbying Glamour magazine editor Cindi Leive to Raise Taxes
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:;view=article&amp;id=4868:charles-rangel&amp;catid=79&amp;Itemid=169#sthash.rEVf0oaQ.dpuf
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:;view=article&amp;id=4868:charles-rangel&amp;catid=79&amp;Itemid=169#sthash.rEVf0oaQ.dpuf

First Lady Chirlane McCray hosted a private lunch Wednesday to champion the mayor’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ms. McCray asked the well-heeled crowd, which included Glamour magazine editor Cindi Leive and fashion designer Nanette Lepore, to “call their state legislators and reach out to their friends to convince lawmakers in Albany to allow the city to raise income taxes.” While New York magazine weighed in on Mr. de Blasio’s continued push for the tax, despite resistance in Albany: “But the mayor — by not trading angry words with Albany’s leaders, and by acting as if some form of pre-K is a sure thing this fall — is sticking to his strategy: that to show weakness, or hint at a willingness to compromise, would surely kill the prospects of making anything substantial happen by September,” they wrote.* Actress Cynthia Nixon launches on-line MoveOn petition for 's tax-the-rich plan.

Oh Really, DN: What is the Pre-K Plan?

A City That Need Years Delay to Teach the Core Curriculum Can Set Up Pre-K for 53,600 4-Year-Olds in 5 Months

Elementary, Mr. Mayor(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio is making the hard sell on pre-K. The city, he now reports, has found more than enough classroom space to offer full-day, high-quality early childhood education to 53,600 4-year-olds just six months from now. So far, he has produced a 14-page report followed by a 10-page report, both full of rhetorical flourishes alongside hard facts. This does not an implementation plan make. Charter school applications are many times more detailed. So too the plans sure to be required by Cuomo before the state opens its funding taps or — unlikely — approves de Blasio’s tax. Who will be in charge? Right now, an unworkable five agencies oversee pre-K instruction and facilities. What about staff? Transportation?  And what exactly will the little ones do when they show up on day one? Oh, right. That.ear * What is the ID Card Plan? Some in other cities say developing and implementing an ID card program can be difficult and takes years, not the months that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would have to get a program up by the end of this year, The Wall Street Journal writes: * NY1 Exclusive: Tax Break Bill Proposes Letting NYers Donate to Education Organization Instead * De Blasio to pre-K supporters: ‘We will win’(Capital) * Albany Pro: Why de Blasio won’t yield on pre-K(Capital)

NYP Ask the Mayor What is Your Education Policy Beyond Pre-K?

Opting for failure(NYP) Anyone who’s read The Post exposé on Murry Bergtraum HS won’t be surprised to learn how badly its students write. The question is, why is a school so manifestly failing its students still open? Alas, Murry Bergtraum is all too typical of a public-education system that looks the other way so long as it’s black and Latino children who aren’t learning. Here’s just a small taste of the rotten status quo:

  • At 53 city-run public schools, zero African-American students passed the state’s most recent math tests.
  • At 48 schools, zero Latino students passed those tests.
  • At one Bronx middle school — MS 203 — not one of the 210 Latino or 75 African-American children who took the tests passed.
  • At PS 194 in Harlem, none of the 50 African-American or 46 Latino test-takers was proficient in English Language Arts.
  • There are 105 schools where the math proficiency rate is 5 percent or less.
  • There are 69 public schools where the ­English Language Arts proficiency rate is 5 percent or less.

“Can [the mayor] look every parent in the eye who expects to send their child to these schools in the fall and say to them, ‘The school that I will now force you to go to is going to be better than the school I am taking away from you’? ” The answer is that de Blasio is going to keep failing, traditional public schools open no matter how badly they do — and make it difficult to expand charters no matter how well they do. You can call this many things, but you can’t call it progressive.* New York voters are divided about the Common Core, with 36 percent saying the standards are too demanding and 24 percent saying they are not demanding, while 50 percent want a two-year moratorium on implementation, according to a Siena poll: 

What is the Educational Plan?
 Cuomo says he nixed so-called “death penalty” plans for chronically failing school districts in part because of the controversy surrounding the implementation of the Common Core standards, the Buffalo News reports: * Cuomo says he understands the criticism of his proposal to offer college courses to inmates when some parents can’t afford to send their children to college, but he will continue pursuing the plan anyway, the Buffalo News writes: * An analysis shows that co-locating charter schools has no discernible impact on public school students’ achievement, the Manhattan Institute’s Marcus Winters writes in the Daily News: *Pre-K Fast Start NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio released an analysis that he says proves the city is ready to rapidly expand the number of full-day pre-K seats by September, – assuming it can pay for the program. * De Blasio vowed to shutter pre-K programs run by community-based organizations that have been slapped with violations posing health hazards to children. * * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released an analysis outlining the city’s ability to rapidly expand the number of full-day pre-K seats starting in September as long as reliable funding exists, Crain’s reports:  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his pre-K plan and said he is committed to not raising taxes because he has been trying to send that message for three years now, the Times Union reports:  * Cuomo dismissed as “silly” a Siena College poll question about who should be setting education policy, the state Education Department or the governor’s office, State of Politics writes Wednesday  Update De Blasio Says New York Can Add 29,000 Pre-K Seats(NYT) * Handicapped Students Stranded  New school bus routes leave disabled kids stranded(NYP) * School officials say they are still feeling the pinch from the gap elimination adjustment put in place four years ago, and they’re continuing to call for Cuomo to restore aid levels to what they were before then Gov. David Paterson made cuts, the Buffalo News reports:  * Charters Fight Back  Eva Moskowitz &amp; other Charter School Allies Adopt High Profile Fight to Prevent De Blasio From Stopping Co-Locations

 Little Red Temp School House?
Push to Rid City of Classrooms That Are Anything but Temporary(NYT) Over 7,000 city students are learning in trailers, which were intended to be a temporary solution to crowded schools but are a testament to the struggle to keep up with teeming neighborhoods.

Pre-K Quality Control Dangers Ahead
Why are the papers the only one raising Pre-K problems, where are the elected officials who are reviewing the programs expansion?

Mayor de Blasio's Pre-K program includes operators with health, safety violations — and history of corruption(NYDN)Operators of pre-K programs have record of health, safety violations — and corruption  A Daily News review of the health inspection records of pre-K programs overseen by the ACS showed that the centers were frequently hit with health and safety violations, and some have even billed the city and state for children that didn't exist.

Charter Schools War or Peace?
Daily News  De Blasio and Fariña ready an assault
Tuesday Update City charter operators shifting advocacy efforts to Albany(Capital) As it fails to gain traction with local electeds and the administration
Schools Chancellor, Charter Leaders Seek Common Ground
Save these schools(NYDN Ed)
De Blasio and Fariña ready an assault on charters
Pro-charter pol asks for state help against de Blasio’s plan(NYP)An influential Brooklyn legislator is calling on the state to step in if Mayor de Blasio follows through on his plan to limit charter-school expansion in the city. Democratic State Assemblyman Karim Camara said he’s studying whether a state authority could provide housing support for new charters if the de Blasio administration makes it more difficult for charters to build new facilities or “co-locate” within existing public schools.Assemblyman Karim Camara said he’s studying whether a state authority could provide housing support for new charter schools if the de Blasio administration makes it difficult to build new facilities* Booting Bronx charter ‘feels like revenge(NYP) * The Left shuns progressive charter schools(NYP) * With the spotlight on full-day pre-K, the governor and Legislature have failed to protect access in the state to kindergarten, writes Sister Ana Maria Causa and Rev. Bruce Baker of Westchester United in City &amp; State:   
* Charter school leaders warming up to Education chancellor Farina(NYP)The meeting at the New York City Charter Center in Manhattan comes after weeks of feuding between charter advocates and Mayor de Blasio, who has vowed to slash city funding and support for charter schools. Still, Farina didn’t discuss the mayor’s proposals to stop charter expansions at the private meeting, sources say.*
Charter School Leaders Meet de Blasio Official(NYT)  New York City’s schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, met with more than 100 representatives from the city’s charter schools, and they found common ground over serving at-risk children. * Schools Chancellor, Charter Leaders Seek Common Ground in Meeting (NY1) * Chancellor and charter school leaders have "good will" meeting but no decisions yet on rent or co-locations (WNYC) * Mulgrew and SEIU 1199 President George Gresham met Friday with selected state legislators to urge them to support de Blasio’s pre-K plan.* De Blasio on charters: Focus on the other '95 percent'(Capital)

The NYT says the Legislature “would do well” to follow the Board of Regents recommendation to increase school aid by $1.3 billion, with $125 million of that going to establish an instruction professional development fund that could address Common Core issues.

An Education Problem Pre-K or the Charter School Wars Will Not Solve
 Update: ‘Fail factory’ teachers &amp; parents rip school’s principal(NYP)

Teens defend ‘fail factory’ high school in error-filled letters(NYP) Earlier this month, The Post exposed a scheme at Manhattan’s Murry Bergtraum HS for Business Careers in which failing students could get full credit without attending class, but instead watch video lessons and take tests online. One social-studies teacher had a roster of 475 students in all grades and subjects. Red-faced administrators encouraged a student letter-writing campaign to attack The Post and defend its “blended learning” program. Eighteen kids e-mailed to argue that their alma mater got a bad rap. Almost every letter was filled with spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. * AMBITION TO FRUITION: Mayor de Blasio's pre-K plan to redefine education and child care in city, but challenges lay ahead(NYDN) * UFT President Michael Mulgrew: How universal pre-K can be successful(NYDN)

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Fight With UFT for Community Control 1960's

 De Blasio and Moskowitz first clashed in 2003 during Council hearings she held about teachers union contracts. In a heated back and forth, Moskowitz grilled then United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten about seniority rights and work rules. "I think I hear a lot of clear concern for the common goal of improving the system and helping kids," de Blasio told Weingarten, according to a hearing transcript. Moskowitz later disparaged de Blasio's "softball questions" in a Village Voice interview. Moskowitz and her husband Eric Grannis, a lawyer who runs Tapestry, a pro-charter organization, moved from the Upper East Side to a Harlem condo near her schools.* New York City teachers' strike of 1968

Media Covers the Special Interests Fighting Not the Children
They send the middle of their three children to one of the Success charters. In 2010, the city placed Moskowitz' new Success Academy on the Upper West Side at the Brandeis High School campus, where four high schools already shared space. De Blasio, then public advocate, backed a parents' lawsuit against the plan, which was dismissed. In 2011, de Blasio was outspoken about a city plan to close Wadleigh's middle school in Morningside Heights to make more room for Success Academy middle school students. "De Blasio was a strong leader," recalled Noah Gotbaum, vice-president of Community Education Council District 3 in Manhattan. The city ultimately backed off. The same year, de Blasio's office released a 32-page glossy report that focused on Success Academy as an example of the "flawed processes" of co-locating charters within regular public schools.

Education Fall Guy King

Councilman Forgotten PS 106 Not Bad

‘School of No’ gets new books(NYP)
Worst principal finally shows up on time as probers descend(NYP)
Councilman: P.S. 106 isn’t as bad as Post says(Capital)
No space, no books, no clue at worst elementary(NYP)Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say. The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day.  The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.” No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes.*  Worst principal forced poor kids to pay for bizarre bash(NYP) * A panel of education experts tasked with making recommendations to Cuomo for how to improve student performance is months late releasing its final report.* P.S. 321 High-Stakes Testing Foes Hope for a Win After Years of Battle (DNAINFO) * Video shows worst principal’s bizarre prom-like bash(NYP)
 More on Education

 Hard to Remove Teachers Even Ones Caught With Hookers
To sir, with lust(NYDN ED) The principal of P.S. 73 in the Bronx has learned a hard lesson about trying to remove a teacher from the school system — even after that teacher was caught mid-act with a prostitute, and then failed to report h

Many high schools get F in art education(NYP) * State Controller Thomas DiNapoli says two-thirds of schoolkids get low-quality arts education(NYDN)

Canter Vs de Blasio on Charter Schools
 House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is taking on de Blasio’s stance on charter schools and is warning that if the mayor’s plans move forward, the House may hold hearings, NY1 reports: *Cantor, de Blasio Trade Swipes on School Choice(WSJ) * De Blasio embraces a charter fight with Eric Cantor(Capital) 
* Leave de Blasio alone, Mr. Cantor(NYP) We part company with the House Majority Leader when he suggests Congress might launch a probe if de Blasio follows through on his anti-charter rhetoric. As wrong as we believe the mayor would be to do so, and as terrible as the consequences would be for the city’s children, this is not a matter for the feds.

Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left, via

Dumbing Down Teacher Testing
College students studying to be teachers and their professors say a new portfolio-style exam needed to obtain a teaching certificate should be delayed like the Common Core test, claiming they’ve been inadequately prepared for the exam, the Times Union reports: 

  Charter Schools Rent to An End

A recommendation from Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission to allow charter schools to add pre-K appears to put de Blasio in a bind as he looks to expand such programs but rein in charter schools

De Blasio’s plan to kill charter schools(NYP)Speaking with National Public Radio, the career Board of Ed bureaucrat Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina had this to say about a proposal to extract rent from charter schools that happen to occupy space in traditional public schools: “I think that a lot of people make a lot of money on [charters]; if there’s money for some things, there’s got to be money for rent as well . . . I think right now we need space for our own kids. You’re going to have a large pre-K initiative. Where are we going to put some of those kids?”* CROSSROADS IN THE CLASSROOM: Bill de Blasio's hostility threatens survival as major clash begins between NYC's charter and district schools(NYDN) * De Blasio should listen to families who want to send their children to a better school but can’t afford anything except charters, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis writes in the Daily News: * Clash begins between NYC’s charter, district schools — with de Blasio’s stance obvious(NYDN) The city’s once-mighty charters have fallen sharply out of favor post-Bloomberg. Mayor de Blasio, siding with the critics who contend the charters’ success came at the expense of public schools, has vowed to charge them rent, threatening their ability to survive. But charter schools won’t go down without a fight.* Gov panel slaps Bill de Blasio agenda with pre-K charters(NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s plan to impose limits on charter schools hit a brick wall Tuesday when a state commission recommended expanding the privately run schools by allowing them to add pre-K classes. * No ‘Mary Poppins,’ School Chief Honed Blunt Style Over 40 Years(NYT) As a teacher and principal, Carmen Fariña became known for her hands-on approach, which propelled her rise in the Education Department and ultimately contributed to her departure. * * De Blasio’s pre-kindergarten proposal is gaining traction outside New York City, with seven non-city state lawmakers attending a Tuesday press conference to back a universal pre-K plan, the Daily News writes:   * De Blasio’s universal pre-K plan represents “a brave new form of economic progressivism” and other Democrats are taking notice, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes in the Washington Post: * For New York City charter schools to mend relations with public school parents and students, charters should serve the neediest, be transparent and stop treating kids as profit centers, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew writes in the Daily News: * Black lawmakers push mayor’s pre-K plan, get chatted up by Cuomo(Capital) * De Blasio open to pre-K class endorsement in charters(NYP) *Let charters bloom (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña have a duty to parents and kids

Krueger Attack Daily News Support for Education Tax Credits
 The Daily News writes that state Sen. Liz Krueger jumped to conclusions by claiming that the paper was hoodwinked and not the first to be bamboozled after endorsing a bill offering tax credits to people who donate to schools: A cardinal sin (NYDN Ed) A state senator's cheap attack on an education tax credit. Timothy Cardinal Dolan will be chagrined to learn that he is aiding and abetting a “tax-avoidance scam” designed to help wealthy people turn charitable contributions into huge profits. The Daily News endorsed the bill as “a promising and creative way to boost charitable giving for a critically important cause,” Krueger said that we had been “hoodwinked” and were “hardly the first to be bamboozled.” Krueger denounced the plan as both a get-rich-quick scheme by the wealthy and as a cushy source of funding for their big private-school tuition bills.


At the state Board of Regents monthly meeting, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said she will appoint a subcommittee of five Regents to review the Common Core implementation process, after fallout from contentious statewide public forums, Newsday reports:(Capital)Outgoing schools chancellor Dennis Walcott gives thoughts on next administration's goals* Mayor Bloomberg Puts Finishing Touches On NYC Cornell "Genius School" Lease(NYDN) * Bloomberg hands over city land for Cornell ‘Genius School’(NYDN) Cornell Tech has 12 acres on Roosevelt Island to build a campus underneath the Queensboro Bridge that would double the city’s number of full-time graduate engineering students * Walcott Marks Last Day As Schools Chancellor: School bells rang dismissal Friday for the final time with Mayor... * Bumpy Start for Teacher Evaluation Program in New York Schools(NYT) * While New York City's teacher evaluation program has been embraced in theory, implementation has fundamentally reordered the rhythm of the school day and week, The New York Times writes:* The state’s teacher evaluation system is off to a bumpy start, with principals complaining about the additional time it adds to their already jam-packed days, parents upset over testing and teachers saying the process seems like a game of “gotcha.”  * SAT tutor to the rich spins $500-an-hour fees into film(NYP) * 'Sizzling' Brooklyn Gets NYU Engineers(WSJ)* A Gift to East Harlem Children(WSJ) Billionaire philanthropists Jim and Marilyn Simons will try to blur the line separating the sleek shops of the Upper East Side from housing projects in East Harlem by making a $15 million challenge gift to the East Harlem Tutorial Program.* New bus companies will take over the routes of Atlantic Express, which went bankrupt, ensuring 40,000 ...NY’s proficiency tests should demand more from students, not less(NYP Ed) * State education commissioner John King argued in a letter to New York educators that concerns raised by teachers and parents at a series of public hearings were based on “misinformation.”* * State Education Commissioner John King is defending the Common Core testing standards and says some concerns from the forums held across the state were based on misinformation, Gannett Albany reports:  * New Campus Buildings Take Shape(WSJ) Institutions of Higher Learning in New York City Are Beginning Construction Programs to Add Millions of Square Feet in New Classrooms * New York received a federal waiver that allows the state to cut back on mathematics testing for 7th and 8th grades, ending the “double testing” of both a Regents and another test, Gannett Albany reports: * Addressing a common criticism of New York City charter schools, a new study says that in general their students were not, in fact, more likely to transfer out than their counterparts in traditional public schools. But special ed students do leave charters far more often.
More on Education

DOE Hiring Corrupt IT Contractor 
The city’s Department of Education plans to award a contract worth as much as $2 billion to a tech firm that got caught up in a kickback scandal four years ago while doing the very same work being proposed, the Post writes: * Letitia James opposes $1B school Internet contract with tech firm(NYP) * 
New contract from city's Department of Education toquestionable technology firm does not compute (NYDN) * Public Advocate Letitia James called on the New York City Department of Education to withdraw a proposed contract with a computer firm previously implicated in a kickback scheme, the Post reports: NYC Public Advocate Tish James is demanding that the Department of Education withdraw a potential billion-dollar contract with a computer firm that was implicated in a kickback scandal doing similar work for the city.

Carmen Farina Schools Chancellor
Mr. de Blasio’s New Appointments(NYT Ed)
The mayor-elect filled two crucial positions with seasoned public servants to run the nation’s largest city.  Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is following a pattern of choosing seasoned public servants to fill top roles in city government, a trend that has importance* The toughest job: Running NYC’s schools (NYP Ed) * De Blasio Recognizes Obstacles Standing in Way of Schools Plan(NYT) Facing high expectations for reforming the education system, New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio may meet obstacles to his plans, including powers constrained by state and federal laws regarding testing * The Wall Street Journal writes that new New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is a competent steward of the education status quo, with her record as a Bloomberg-era deputy chancellor not pointing to her being a reform leader:* Schools Chief Sees Parents As 'Partners'(WSJ) * New Schools Chancellor Feared Mediocrity, Pushed High Standards for All(WSJ) Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio on Monday introduced the public to Carmen Fariña, his pick for schools chancellor, but the pair were mum on specific plans for the nation's largest school system.* Fariña's test(NYDN ED) Bill de Blasio has filled the critical post of schools chancellor — second in importance only to police commissioner — by convincing a veteran educator to come out of retirement and lead the nation’s largest public education system.* Incoming Schools Chancellor inspired by upbringing(NYDN) * U.S. education officials lobbied against Starr for New York City schools post (Wash Post) * Principal of school Farina visiting today cited by Suransky as fan of Bloomberg's network system(WNYC) * Fariña pledges middle schools fix; charter school protoco(Capital) * Chancellor Farina gives no specific game plan on first day. "I've been very happy, a little overwhelmed" * Farina Visits Bronx School on First Day as Chancellor  n* Speaking of Fariña, she’ll focus on the city’s struggling middle schools during her first year in office, our Ben Chapman and Rachel Monahan report: “I really believe if we get middle schools right, the rest is going to be a piece of cake,” the chancellor said Thursday in her first school visit — to Middle School 223 in the Bronx.* Capital NY: "Asked about her stance on charter schools, Fariña avoided specifics, saying only that that the department will have a 'protocol' for charter schools' role in the system soon. 'Kids are kids,' she said, striking a neutral tone even as de Blasio has vowed to put a moratorium on charter co-locations and charge some charters rent on a sliding scale."* NYC’s new mayor sings tax-the-rich song for kids’ kindergarten costs (Washington Times) * New schools boss to collect double de Blasio’s pay(NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will collect both a city salary and her pension for a total income of $412,193 a year — nearly twice as much as Mayor de Blasio is…

Bill de Blasio makes schools chancellor pick(NYP) Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will appoint former top schools official Carmen Farina as the city’s next chancellor on Monday, a source told the Post on Sunday. De Blasio will make the announcement at William Alexander Middle School 51 in Park Slope, which both of his children attended, the source said.* Carmen Farina to be named DOE chancellor(Capital) * Sources: Carmen Farina to be Named New Schools Chancellor(NY1) *Veteran of City School System Is Said to Be Next Chancellor(NYT) De Blasio will name Farina head of the nation's largest public school system at M.S. 51, the Park Slope middle school his children attended. Friends and colleagues of Farina and de Blasio say they share a single educational philosophy, with a focus on progressive education, a skepticism of standardized testing and charter schools, and a focus on racially and economically integrated public schools. Farina … is 71 and retired from the D.O.E in 2006 … Farina is well-known for her focus on professional development, which both advocates for and critics of the Common Core agree is needed to improve outcomes on the Common Core-aligned curricula and exams. …
As a teacher and administrator, Farina was known for her focus on creating literary-focused curricula, teaching students about Civil War history by having them read historical novels from the time period, or visiting the Brooklyn Museum to look at Civil War-era art.” * “As a principal and superintendent, Ms. Fariña gained a reputation as a stern manager. She worked briefly as a top official in the Education Department early in the Bloomberg administration, overseeing teaching and learning, but departed amid philosophical differences. … In a 1999 interview, she recalled being the only Spanish-speaking student in kindergarten at St. Charles Borromeo, a parochial school in Brooklyn.”* De Blasio to Tap Fariña as Schools Chancellor * Carmen Farina led P.S. 6 and District 15 ( and ). Not known for her work with low-income kids.* De Blasio is expected to name Carmen Farina, 40-year veteran of the city schools, as schools chancellor today.(WNYC) Carmen Farina will appoint Ursulina Ramirez, BdB's Deputy Pub Advocate, as chief of staff.* Carmen Fariña has been named Schools Chancellor. She is a staunch supporter of de-emphasizing high stakes tests and values parents' input.* De Blasio names veteran educator Carmen Farina as the next chancellor of New York City's school system(NYDN) * Former teacher Carmen Farina named school chancellor(NYP) * De Blasio Evasive on Key Questions at Year’s End (NYO) * Tests Start Soon for De Blasio’s Schools Chancellor (NY Mag)* Fariña Named Schools Chancellor, Looks Forward to Advancing "Progressive Agenda"(NY1) * 9 Things You Should Know About The New Head Of NYC's School System(Huff Post)* School Chancellor Pick Not A Clear Departure From Bloomberg Years(Huff Post) * Gonzalez: De Blasio's schools chancellor will revolutionize city's schools(NYDN) * Report: City Taps Top Psychiatrist to Help Prevent School Violence(NY1) * In selecting Farina as chancellor, de Blasio says he will "unpack" a lot of Bloomberg's ed reforms(WNYC) 

New Job After Shots Are Fired: Keeping Students Feeling Safe(NYT)

Teachers union failing charter schools(NYP) *   In a daylong hearing at the Capitol, members of the Assembly Education Committee grilled state officials on the vast trove of student data the state Education Department wants to build, worried that the data will not be protected, the Times Union writes:  New York Parents, Educators REALLY Want State Education Boss John King To Resign(Huff Post) * At Forums, State Education Commissioner Faces a Barrage of Complaints(NYT) The latest Siena College poll finds that 45 percent of New Yorkers are confident that Common Core standards will make students more college-ready, while 34 percent of voters think the Common Core standards are too demanding* New York is moving forward with its plan to create a database of every registered public school student in the state. This digital information hub will include pupils’ grades, attendance records, test scores and important medical diagnoses. (NY Daily News)*  Ed department announces Common Core forums in NYC(Capital)
* In the Daily News, Campbell Brown, founder of the Parent’s Transparency Project, criticizes Cuomo for his silence as his state Education Commissioner John King is pilloried for imposing the Common Core standards: * Teachers Union Dropping $1.2 Million On New Campaign(Huff Post)
School authority hit with huge bill(CrainsNY) 
Cuomo taps S.I. borough president for CUNY post(Capital) Ed chief sees no 'special interests' in supportive crowd(Capital) * How does the Common Core fit in at the private Montessori school where state Education Commissioner John King’s kids are students?* NY parents, districts worry about database privacy(NYP) * * The state Board of Regents’s 17 members are not all in agreement over the Common Core program, with the board voting on a budget request for next year and expected to ask for a substantial increase in aid for local schools, the Times Union reports: "Schools are treating the hospital emergency rooms as timeout rooms."(WSJ) * Parents Protest Emergency Calls A group of New York City parents are trying to prevent public schools from sending children who have severe temper tantrums to the emergency room against their parents' wishes *Know when to scaffold  (NYDN)  From the city’s School Construction Authority comes devastating evidence of the increasingly crippling cost of lawsuits enabled by an insane, arcane state law. DN editorial: Skyrocketing cost of Scaffold Law is "putting a massive bite on taxpayers* New York City school principals boo Bloomberg, want de Blasio’s...(NYDN) * Average teacher salary in NYS is $75,279, highest in U.S * The state Board of Regents proposed a $1.3 billion increase in education funding, including $125 million for universal pre-kindergarten, State of Politics reports:  *Board Of Regents: $1.3B Boost For Education(YNN)* Getting into West Brooklyn transfer school means agreeing to lots and lots of meetings. (WNYC) * The Dennis Walcott exit interview(CrainsNY) * Contractors and Workers at Odds Over Scaffold Law(NYT) * An alliance of contractors and women- and minority-owned businesses launched an ad and lobbying blitz to reform the Scaffold Law, but unions, workers’ advocates and trial lawyers are pushing back, The New York Times writes: * Some resistance to Nelson Mandela-named co-located school  * The Times Union writes that there is enough evidence for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill pushed by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli requiring DiNapoli’s office to audit all special education contractors:* Big changes in store for public school students who misbehave(NY World) * The allegedly mobbed-up cartel that transports schoolchildren in NYC just declared bankruptcy.' * National test scores for New York City fourth and eighth grade students were flat compared with the previous year, prompting criticism of the Bloomberg administration from the city’s teachers union, Capital New York writes: 
*New York City Students Show Slight Gains on Test Scores(NYT) * A state Supreme Court judge is set to hear arguments in the New York State United Teachers' suit against the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, which the union claims is undemocratic, the Times Union writes:
The Real Education Problem

New York City’s misleading graduation rates 

(NYP Ed)  The Good: The latest figures show the four-year graduation rate for New York City high-school kids hit an all-time high this year: 66%.  The Bad: More than half these graduates are not ready for college or a job. We don’t deny that the city’s schools have improved somewhat over the 12 years Bloomberg has been in power (even if the mayor overstates the gains). But it’s also vital to be clear-eyed about just how awful things remain for the majority of this city’s public-school students: Among those who entered high school as freshmen in 2009, only 31.4 percent were college- or career-ready by ­August.* Charter Schools  It’s about the kids, Bill  (NYDN Ed) The mayor-elect is on the cusp of tapping a new chancellor to lead New York City’s largest-in-the-nation, 1.1 million student public education system. One bellwether of the new educator-in-chief’s determination to stand with the kids will be his or her approach to charter schools.* Since '02, number of NYC students taking &amp; passing AP tests doubled, per . Also true 4 LA , Houston, etc

Full Day Kindergarten Ignored in Pre-K Fight
Full-Day Kindergarten Should Be New York’s Goal, Critics Say(NYT) Amid the push to expand full-day preschool, some parents say kindergartners who are in school for only a few hours a day are being overlooked. 

The SUNY Trustees approved nine new charter schools: eight in New York City – in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan; and, one in Rochester. All will open in the fall of 2014. *
…six of the charters will be in Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academies charter network, and will be co-located with district schools.* The PTA really pays! Groups from city's 30 best-funded schools raised $53M in last five years(NYDN)

NYP Goes to the Districts Where Students Sit on Charter Wait Lists
Members of the Assembly who haven’t challenged attempts to limit charter schools have children in their district who are on waiting lists to get into the schools
Pols silent as thousands await charter spots in their districts(NYP)The waiting lists to get into charter schools are around the block in the districts of state Assembly members who haven’t challenged attempts to limit the alternative schools, according to data obtained by The Post. In Harlem, where Keith Wright presides over a neighborhood with 15 charters, 3,975 kids are clamoring for seats. But Wright told The Post he still opposes giving charters the right to share space in public school buildings, a practice known as “co-location. But the union-friendly, Democratic-run Assembly is resisting, Albany insiders said.” There are 15 charters in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn represented by Annette Robinson, with 2,323 students pleading to get in. Gabriela Rosa of northern Manhattan has 2,196 students waiting for openings. Another 1,583 students are similarly situated in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn led by Nick Perry. And James Brennan, who represents part of Mayor de Blasio’s home turf in brownstone Brooklyn, has 1,379 stranded charter students. None of the four legislators responded to requests for comment about their positions. *Democrats as far-flung as Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Colorado Congressman Jared Polis are now jumping on the anti-de Blasio bandwagon. Democrats against de Blasio(NYP) “We urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to reconsider his course of action to close and stop the expansion of high-performing charter schools in New York City. . . — Two Democrats, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal bashing Mayor de Blasio for the hostility he has shown charters  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly pressing de Blasio to resolve charter school controversies before the state needs to step in, the Daily News reports: * Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña hopes to fix problems in co-located schools(NYDN)

Fail: Fordham falsely tells 2,500 kids they made it(NYP)

Teachers union failing charter schools(NYP) *   In a daylong hearing at the Capitol, members of the Assembly Education Committee grilled state officials on the vast trove of student data the state Education Department wants to build, worried that the data will not be protected, the Times Union writes:  New York Parents, Educators REALLY Want State Education Boss John King To Resign(Huff Post) * At Forums, State Education Commissioner Faces a Barrage of Complaints(NYT) The latest Siena College poll finds that 45 percent of New Yorkers are confident that Common Core standards will make students more college-ready, while 34 percent of voters think the Common Core standards are too demanding* New York is moving forward with its plan to create a database of every registered public school student in the state. This digital information hub will include pupils’ grades, attendance records, test scores and important medical diagnoses. (NY Daily News)*  Ed department announces Common Core forums in NYC(Capital) * Lawmakers Call for Curbs on Testing (WSJ)
DONT FORGET ABOUT ELEMENTARIES -- News’ Michael Petrilli : “De Blasio needs to come to grips with a simple truth: Any gains provided by a massive new investment in preschool will quickly fade away if he doesn’t also tackle New York City’s mediocre elementary schools … he might urge all city elementary schools to adopt Core Knowledge.”
* In the Daily News, Campbell Brown, founder of the Parent’s Transparency Project, criticizes Cuomo for his silence as his state Education Commissioner John King is pilloried for imposing the Common Core standards: * Teachers Union Dropping $1.2 Million On New Campaign(Huff Post)

* In the Daily News, Brett Peiser, CEO of the charter school network Uncommon Schools, writes that the Common Core standards are deepening his students’ skills and knowledge of the world: * Departing Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott admits charter school rollout could have been better. (WNYC)* High School With No Walls Takes Shape (WSJ)* In Brooklyn, John King finds a rare friendly audience (Capital)

No Fault Education Failure, Tefon Pols
Media Does Not Focus On Education Results Mayor Reason Public Does Not Hold Elected Officials Accountable for the City's Education Failure . . .

NY No Bang for the Education Buck 
Media Does Not Ask Why?

90% of Bronx Students Not Ready for College
90 percent of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods not ready for college-level work, new analysis finds(NYDN) Annenberg Institute for School Reform study shows shocking disparities in city. Findings run contrary to Mayor Bloomberg's claims, reveal students from poor areas struggled regardless of where they went to school. If you're a kid in the South Bronx, you may graduate from high school — but, odds are, you’ll flunk out of college. A stunning 90% or more of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods are not ready for college-level work by the end of four years of high school, a new analysis finds.

Black &amp; Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams Where is the UFT's Explanation?

Black &amp; Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams(NYP) More black and Hispanic students took the entrance exam to get into the city’s elite high schools this year, but their pass rates were as dismal as ever, officials said Tuesday. Of the 5,096 students accepted by eight specialized schools, just 5  percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic. Nationally recognized Staten Island Tech won’t have a single black student among its incoming class of 344 freshmen.

Last year, it had five. Even Brooklyn Tech, which Mayor de Blasio’s son, Dante, attends, will welcome just 127 black students and 130 Hispanics among 1,844 in its freshman class of ’14. Of 27,817 students who took the entrance test last October, 46 percent were black or Hispanic. That’s up from 43 percent in 2012. * * Data shows that the racial demographics for incoming students at some New York City specialized schools remained stagnant, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for increased diversity at schools, The New York Times writes: * At Top City Schools, Lack of Diversity Persists(NYT 2010)

The Real Education Problem
How does Less Testing Decrease Social Promotion?

New York City’s misleading graduation rates 

(NYP Ed)  The Good: The latest figures show the four-year graduation rate for New York City high-school kids hit an all-time high this year: 66%.  The Bad: More than half these graduates are not ready for college or a job. We don’t deny that the city’s schools have improved somewhat over the 12 years Bloomberg has been in power (even if the mayor overstates the gains). But it’s also vital to be clear-eyed about just how awful things remain for the majority of this city’s public-school students: Among those who entered high school as freshmen in 2009, only 31.4 percent were college- or career-ready by ­August.* Charter Schools  It’s about the kids, Bill  (NYDN Ed) The mayor-elect is on the cusp of tapping a new chancellor to lead New York City’s largest-in-the-nation, 1.1 million student public education system. One bellwether of the new educator-in-chief’s determination to stand with the kids will be his or her approach to charter schools.* Since '02, number of NYC students taking &amp; passing AP tests doubled, per . Also true 4 LA , Houston, etc

School authority hit with huge bill(CrainsNY)

Old scaffold law wreaks new havoc, raising pressure for legislative change.

New Job After Shots Are Fired: Keeping Students Feeling Safe(NYT)
Teachers union failing charter schools(NYP) *   In a daylong hearing at the Capitol, members of the Assembly Education Committee grilled state officials on the vast trove of student data the state Education Department wants to build, worried that the data will not be protected, the Times Union writes:  New York Parents, Educators REALLY Want State Education Boss John King To Resign(Huff Post) * At Forums, State Education Commissioner Faces a Barrage of Complaints(NYT) The latest Siena College poll finds that 45 percent of New Yorkers are confident that Common Core standards will make students more college-ready, while 34 percent of voters think the Common Core standards are too demanding* New York is moving forward with its plan to create a database of every registered public school student in the state. This digital information hub will include pupils’ grades, attendance records, test scores and important medical diagnoses. (NY Daily News)*  Ed department announces Common Core forums in NYC(Capital)
* In the Daily News, Campbell Brown, founder of the Parent’s Transparency Project, criticizes Cuomo for his silence as his state Education Commissioner John King is pilloried for imposing the Common Core standards: * Teachers Union Dropping $1.2 Million On New Campaign(Huff Post)
More On  Education

* State Senate co-leader Jeff Klein and state Sen. George Latimer want to change a proposal to allow taxpayers to target up to 75 percent of their school tax liability to private school funds, public schools, or public school foundations, The Journal News writes:  * What happens if enough New York parents say they don’t want their kids to take tests? (NY Mag) * No Common Ground -- A Look Into Common Core's Controversial Rollout in New York * RACE TO THE TOP? — Few districts apply for Cuomo's competitive grants — Capital's Jessica Bakeman reports that the Cuomo administration is offering schools millions of dollars for academic initiatives that are overwhelmingly supported by education experts—and for the second time, districts aren't interested in the money. * The vast majority of eligible school districts didn’t apply for Cuomo’s $75 million competitive education grants this year.*NY college promises to help students pay loans(NYP) * Back in New York With the Same Passion, but to Less Fire and Smoke(NYT) Rudy Crew, a former city schools chancellor who butted heads with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, is the new president of Medgar Evers College in central Brooklyn.* Opposition to the Common Core standards has united parents that never were active before.*  The Times Union highlights the value of comparing and analyzing data on public and charter school students across the state, which can help educators track progress, while also recognizing parents’ concerns for privacy * SAT scores increase for New York City students * State Education Commissioner John King said that the state’s Common Core education standards do need tweaking, but added that he sees enthusiasm from students and teachers in the classrooms he has visited, the Rochester Democrat &amp; Chronicle reports: * Showdown on Tuition for the Disabled(WSJ) More parents in New York state are enrolling their children with special needs in private schools and seeking taxpayer-funded tuition payments under a federal law.


Inflated Teach Grades
Poison apples (NYDN Ed)
State system grades teachers on a too-generous curve. New York has released the first round of teacher performance evaluations produced by the hard-fought system for identifying the best and worst instructors — and the results are disastrous. Not because the evaluations identified large numbers of teachers as ineffective. No, the ratings are a destructive mockery because, incredibly, half the teachers got the top mark of “highly effective” and more than 40% were graded “effective.”
Teachers excel, but students don’t(NYP)
New York state teacher evaluation results released Tuesday show that of the state's 127,000 teachers, 50 percent were deemed highly effective, 42 percent effective, 4 percent developing and 1 percent ineffective, The Wall Street Journal reports

DN "King's only 'crime' was to place New York at the vanguard of Common Core implementation."
Education Commissioner John King, under fire for Common Core implementation, gets some backing from the Daily News* HIGHER EDUCATION — More CUNY freshman need math help — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: The proportion of incoming freshmen in CUNY community colleges needing math remediation has grown significantly since 2008, while that of those needing extra help in reading and writing has shrunk, according to data obtained by Capital through a public records request. COMMON CORE — Education forums tweaked, rescheduled, under pressure — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: State education commissioner John King will appear at 12 public forums during the next six weeks, allowing parents and teachers a chance to sound off about the state's adoption of more difficult curriculum standards and related testing.

* Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott statements on President Obama's upcoming visit to : * State education officials outlined an initiative at a Board of Regents meeting in Albany to reduce the number of tests students must take through federal waivers or state and local actions, and plan to hold public forums on testing, Newsday reports: * DEFENDING STATE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: "Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch said Tuesday that critics of the state's implementation of new, more difficult curriculum standards should 'tone it down,' and charged that calls for education commissioner John King to step down are purely about 'politics.'" * Two education advocacy groups proposed an eight-year program this morning to establish quality full-day pre-kindergarten programs in all of New York’s school systems * As Obama visits PTech today, writes about the other (closing) school in that building * State Education Commissioner John King announced that some standardized tests in the state’s public schools will be eliminated, citing several pressures that have hurt instruction, The Associated Press reports: * State won't help teachers evaluated on bad data(Capital) * In a surprising announcement that cites “a variety of pressures” that may have hurt instruction, state Education Commissioner John King has told superintendents some standardized tests will be eliminated.*Now that the state has rescheduled public forums on new curriculum standards, NYSUT is pulling back on a set of meetings the union announced it would hold to “fill the void.” * NY education big: We’re paring back state tests(NYP) * New York State Seeks to Scale Back Student Testing(NYT) * The charter school that turned my life around(NYP) * Declining black, Latino admissions to NYC’s specialized schools could be reversed(NYDN)

NYP Charter Parents Ask for the Same Chance As the Mayor's Son
Charter parents blast Bill: Give our kids same chance as Dante(NYP) Shut-out charter-school parents pleaded with Mayor de Blasio Friday to rethink his decision to yank their classrooms, saying they just want their kids to have the same opportunities as his son, Dante.  “If he closes our schools, where does that leave our kids? I would love for our son to be like Dante,” said Latoya Grant, whose 11-year-old daughter attends the Success Academy charter on West 111th Street. Dante de Blasio goes to one of the city’s elite public high schools, Brooklyn Tech. Threatened Success Academy students show their stuff(NYP)* 80 yrs ago, LaGuardia made gangster Lucky Luciano public enemy #1. Today, Mayor de Blasio targets educator .

Charter Moskowitz Threatens to Sue Mayor
As Mayor Cuts Rent Deal 

"The Moskowitz Exceptions"

Eva Moskowitz: I’ll sue de Blasio for charter-school space(NYP)

Major Charter School Chain To Lose Space Under New De Blasio Plan (Huff Post) Mayor Bill de Blasio is pulling back the space-sharing arrangements for three charter schools that are part of Success Academy, a high-profile school chain whose leader has been a frequent de Blasio target, sources within the charter school movement tell The Huffington Post. Success Academy was founded as Harlem Success Academy by former city council member Eva Moskowitz in 2006, and has since grown to 22 schools. The chain, which was favored by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been criticized for its disciplinary policies, although its students tend to perform well on standardized tests. * Bilingual school’s funding slashed under de Blasio charter cuts(NYP) Mayor de Blasio has whacked this American Dream in the knees. A proposed dual-language charter school aimed at helping immigrant Latino kids in grades 6 to 8 prepare for college... 

The Legislature may consider revising the state’s approach to the controversial Common Core standards. Williamsburg charter school closing over contract impasse(NYP)* The state Board of Regents approved plans Monday to trim 20 minutes from the total time scheduled for math assessments that are to be given in April, while some state English Language Arts tests will be trimmed by 10 minutes, Newsday reports: ARE WATCHING' — Cuomo sees 'legislative changes' to Common Core — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: The governor said Monday he would consider “legislative changes” to address parents' concerns about the rigorous Common Core standards, on which New York schools started testing some students last April. “There's no doubt that there are significant elements, at least in the transition, that are problematic … It's something we're watching very closely. And it's something that might be the subject of legislative changes next year. But it's not anything that I control, so we are watching." Anti-Truancy Efforts Notch High Marks(WSJ) As it turns out, students really do better in school if they actually go to school. A study to be released Wednesday found that New York City students with major attendance problems were able to turn things around academically if they started showing up to class.* Is New York’s Charter-School Era Waning? * About 15% of NYC middle-school students and 26% of high-school students missed more than 20 days of school last year (WSJ)\ * In the Daily News, education advocates Tim Daly and Joe Williams writes that New York State United Teachers is not owning up to its role in the proliferation of testing across the state, nor is it trying to fix the problem: * The ire of teachers, parents and several state legislators is being directed at another aspect of the increasingly controversial federal Race to the Top initiative and its implementation in New York: The creation of a vast trove of student data that the state Education Department wants to build in collaboration with a grant-funded nonprofit firm.* Education activists are seeking close to $2 billion in additional public school aid from the state in the 2014-15 budget.* * Teachers across the state are still waiting for a curriculum supplement from the state education department designed to help prepare students for Common Core exams, Capital New York writes:
'FEVER-PITCH' RHETORIC — Regents head: Despite being 'shouted down and shouted out,' forums productive — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: Public forums on the state's rollout of new, rigorous academic standards and teacher evaluations are not fun, but they're not useless, either, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said this week. “Is it the most pleasant thing to sit there and be shouted at? No,” Tisch said Monday during a break of the Regents meeting in Albany. “But the truth is, as the crowds modulate, and the ability to have a thoughtful give-and-take, so many people have walked over and said to me, 'I'm happy that was clarified. I didn't know that.' So, time will tell.”
N.Y. Scores Barely Budge on National Test(WSJ)
New York students have struggled to keep up the pace of improvement with the rest of the country over the last decade on a national test considered by many the best available standard of comparison. Writer Jonathan Kozol was “utterly shocked” by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s death penalty for failing schools comment. There will be new parent-teacher conferences for the families of students who performed poorly on the controversial new Common Core tests last year.
60% of NY students not up to par(NYP) * N.Y. Scores Barely Budge on National Test(WSJ) * New York students are doing slightly better on math and reading compared to tests from two years ago according to the National Assessment on Educational Progress report cards, the Associated Press reports:  GRADING CURVE — News’ Rachel Monahan: “Emails provided to the Daily News show that it has become “common practice” for New York City high schools to abandon the traditional 0 to 100 grading scale — for one that gives kids no lower than a 55 score, just 10 points below passing, even when they don’t show up to class.”

NYC school bus giant declares bankruptcy while renegotiating union contract. Workers owed $13m. Blame Bloomberg.* Twenty-two teachers unions from across the state have formally expressed support for a parent group’s call for the resignation of State Education Commission John B. King Jr. King was grilled about the implementation of Common Core standards at yet another public forum – this time in Syracuse, and moderated by Susan Arbetter of the “The Capitol Pressroom.”* In a harshly-worded letter to Education Commissioner John King, Cuomo asked what “if anything” SED knew about the Pine Bush problem and what steps it took to address the situation * Textbooks recommended by Dept. of Education are full of errors: teachers(NYDN) * New school busing contracts will save the city $210 million over the next five years, Bloomberg and NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced.* New York City Putting Bus Routes Out for Bid(NYT) * School bus contracts could save city millions(NYP)
FROM THE TRANSITION TENT — Empty Classrooms as Dorms for Homeless Students — Gotham Schools' Geoff Decker: "Carmen Farina has a clear vision for how Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio’s chancellor should lead the city’s schools. That vision includes some big ideas — including converting empty classrooms into dormitories for homeless students to forcing real estate developers to build space for early education... "Farina has been an unofficial advisor to de Blasio on education, a relationship that dates back more than a decade to when they worked in the same Brooklyn school district. Before he was elected to the City Council in 2001, de Blasio served on the District 15 school board at the same time when Farina was superintendent." * NYC parents plan suit Wednesday to block state from sharing kids' data with private firms
Not one, not two, but three public events on the Common Core are being held today.
A dozen New York City parents are suing in state Supreme Court to block the release of student information to a data integration company, saying that it violates privacy laws, Capital New York reports:
Bloomberg Issues Final Letter Grades for New York Schools(NYT)
At a day-long hearing by the state Senate Education Committee focusing on the Common Core curriculum and its tests, teachers and some lawmakers made the case that the testing should be slowed down to allow schools time to adjust, the Times Union writes:
Deputy Education Commissioner Ken Slentz defended the state’s plans to send detailed student records to a private database, noting the importance of having a primary source of data, and maintained the data will be well-protected, The Journal News writes:
A Final Report for Schools(WSJ) * The state’s teachers union and related organizations called for a ban on student testing for pre-K through second grade, while lawmakers questioned why those with disabilities are tested the same as other students, the Times Union reports:

Nearly one in three city public high-school graduates who enrolled in CUNY schools in 2007 and 2008 left before completing two years of study

It's quitting time for CUNY's city HS grads


In NYC: 43.9% of 3-8th graders scored proficient in English; 57.3% scored proficient in math * City Students' Test Results In State English, Math Tests Slightly Improve (NY1) * City Students Improve Slightly on Statewide Tests(NYT) * Schools: “[C]ity and state scores both remain far below where they were two years ago.” [Sharon Otterman / New York Times] * chools: “For the mayor to ensure his education legacy, observers said, college readiness must improve.” [Jeremy Smerd / Crains]

Only 25% of Those Entering CUNY Don't Need Remedial Help . . .  What is Bloomberg Talking About?

Azi Paybarah (Twitter) speaker says drove graduation rates up by 45% since 2005.




2011 Education Year In Review: Chancellor Change-Up Rocks DOE(NY1)

Education The Teacher's Rubber Room Lives

Mayor: Ridding city of 'rubber rooms' a flop(NYDN) * The Education Department's rubber rooms are shrinking, but too many poor teachers remain (NYDN Ed) Process for firing educators for incompetence or misconduct is still far too cumbersome *


A Test of A City Special Schools Excellence
EIGHTH Bronx HS Science alum wins Nobel Prize(NYP)* Bronx Science alum wins Nobel prize(NYDN) The News lauds Bronx Science alumnus Robert Lefkowitz, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, making him one of a record eight Nobel laureates to have graduated from the high school: 

DOE Paid AWOL Staff
Schools paid AWOL staff(NYP) The city Department of Education lost track of a number of employees who had quietly stopped reporting to work for as long as a year — but continued to pay their hefty salaries anyway, agency documents reveal.

Council's Puppetgate, Burning Up Education Blogs

Albany and Parents to Charter Schools Drop Dead In the end the parents of charter school children are to blame for lack of school reforms. As a movement they have been non existent, clueless or above the ways of Albany. Knaves and Dwarves Albany tossed a chance for $700 million in federal school aid down an Albany sewer yesterday (NYP Ed) * Obama to seek $1.35 billion more for education *** No-class NY pols shaft kids *'Powerful' lesson by teach unions (Dicker NYP) ***Wrangling in Albany Pushes State’s Request for School Aid to the Wire Bid when in without a charter school plan considered important to the bid * The kids be damned: Cowardly Legislature betrays state's children and taxpayers (DN Ed) *** The mayor and the governor issued a rare joint statement lamenting the Legislature's failure to pass a charter school bill *** Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch insisted the state's "Race to the Top" application is "eloquent and articulate" in spite of the status quo charter school cap ***Charter Advocates On The Warpath

Math Reading Rate Drop

City Schools Quietly Using Fewer Librarians(WSJ)

Less than a third of NY's public school students passed math, reading exams last year(NYP) * New York students’ math and reading standardized exam scores decreased dramatically this year amid tougher testing tied to new federal curriculum standards, government officials said, the Journal writes:  * The Daily News writes that New York’s precipitous drop in math and reading test scores are a result of much-needed tougher education standards, and that students will eventually adjust * New York Test Scores Bode Ill for Rest of U.S.(WSJ) * Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "We should absolutely not be alarmed if test scores drop as a result of these more rigorous expectations and higher standards." [Ginger Adam Otis and Ben Chapman] Thursday * A test of honesty(NYP Ed) * Test Scores Sink as New York Adopts Tougher Benchmarks(NYT) * Friday Update Better test scores far off: state ed. boss(NYP)
* UNPREPARED: Critics say NYC schools aren't ready for next year's tougher reading and math tests(NYDN) * Starting with this fall’s incoming freshmen, students will be required to take harder Regents exams to graduate, in a push by state officials to make a high-school diploma more meaningful.

A UPT Charter Schools Failure
* The UFT’s glass house(NYP Ed)
In the aftermath of test scores that show the majority of city school children are not performing up to standard, everyone’s a critic. But not everyone’s earned the right to be. We’re thinking particularly of Mike Mulgrew, who heads the United Federation of Teachers. “This is a man-made disaster that should not have been,” he thunders. “The scores should have dropped, but not to this level. The children are bearing the brunt of the mayor’s decisions.” Perhaps. But Mulgrew’s in no position to throw stones. Because among the New York City students who fared the worst on these new tests are those who are being taught in Mulgrew’s own glass house — the UFT charter school. Whether scored against the city average or the charter average, a school that was supposed to showcase the union’s professionalism has only highlighted its failures. In English, only 9.7 percent of the UFT charter’s third to eighth graders are proficient, and only 12.6 percent in math.

PS 106 Principal Fired From "School of No"
Post-bashing pol Richards hails us for ‘School of No’(NYP) City Councilman Donovan Richards is now thanking The Post for exposing “School of No” Principal Marcella Sills — after accusing the paper last month of “fabricating” a story about conditions... 
Inquiry Into Queens School Calls for Firing of Principal(NYT) A report by the special commissioner of investigation for the school district recommended that Marcella Sills, the principal at Public School 106, be banned from working for the Education Department.* ‘School of No’ principal getting fired after probe(NYP) * Councilman Calls for PS 106 Principal to Be Fired for Attendance Record (NY1) * ‘School of No’ principal could collect on more than 100 sick days(NYP)
* My time at the ‘School of No’(NYP) Why did it take an exposé in The New York Post to not only unseat a bad principal, but get students much-needed books — and stop them from watching movies instead of getting gym or art classes?  But the question remains how the people who were supposed to care remained deaf for so long. Why do families and teachers flee public schools? They flee when they feel powerless. They flee because of what happened at PS 106.

Breaking Test Scores 
Success Academy Bronx 2: top-performing nonselective school in NYC ranked third out of 3,500 schools in NYS.
Pass-rates on tougher grade 3-8 state reading exams: NYC-26.4%; Yonkers-16.4%;Buffalo-11.5%; Syracuse 8.7%; Rochester 5.4%; Statewide-31.1%
Expected drop in NYC test scores are still extraordinary - 27 percent passed English, 30 percent math. *Under New Standards, Students See Sharp Decline in Test Scores(NYT)
NYC Charters, 34.8pct proficient in math vs 29.6pct citywide. 25.1pct prof in ELA vs 26.4pct citywide.
Within NY scores, there is progress being made. NYC students are performing much closer to their peers in the rest of the state.

Schooling the critics(NYP)\Eva Moskowitz isn’t satisfied. The poor, black and Hispanic students in her 14 charter schools just knocked the new state tests out of the park, but she had wanted even more. Those are the same tests that most city students failed, leading many educrats to argue the tests were too hard.  






  The Post applauds the city Department of Education’s new scorecard for education programs for teachers, which shows that even elite institutions such as Columbia Teachers College still have work to do:

A UPT Charter Schools Failure
* The UFT’s glass house(NYP Ed)
In the aftermath of test scores that show the majority of city school children are not performing up to standard, everyone’s a critic. But not everyone’s earned the right to be. We’re thinking particularly of Mike Mulgrew, who heads the United Federation of Teachers. “This is a man-made disaster that should not have been,” he thunders. “The scores should have dropped, but not to this level. The children are bearing the brunt of the mayor’s decisions.” Perhaps. But Mulgrew’s in no position to throw stones. Because among the New York City students who fared the worst on these new tests are those who are being taught in Mulgrew’s own glass house — the UFT charter school. Whether scored against the city average or the charter average, a school that was supposed to showcase the union’s professionalism has only highlighted its failures. In English, only 9.7 percent of the UFT charter’s third to eighth graders are proficient, and only 12.6 percent in math.

Bloomberg Fire Half the Teachers
Bloomberg: If I Had It My Way I’d Dump Half Of NYC’s Teachers(CBS) Mayor Stuns Many At MIT Speech, Says He'd Greatly Enlarge Class Size, Too. "Education is very much, I’ve always thought, just like the real estate business. Real estate business, there are three things that matter: location, location, location is the old joke,” Bloomberg said. “Well in education, it is: quality of teacher, quality of teacher, quality of teacher. And I would, if I had the ability - which nobody does really – to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”* Another Soda-Tax Squabble(WSJ) * The Times Union disagrees with the Department of Education's decision to cancel parent forums on the Common Core. [Times Union Editorial Board]* Reflecting on his tenure as NYC schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott is very proud, but has some regrets.* New York state education officials said they would look for ways to make sure that students weren’t being over-tested, after parents and educators voiced concerns over exams tied to a new teacher evaluation system, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * New Tests, New Aim: Evaluating Teachers(WSJ) * Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch will hold 16 forums across the state on the new Common Core standards after a heated meeting prompted the cancellation of four similar events, Gannett Albany writes: *Facing Criticism, King To Hold 16 Common Core Forums(YNN) * UFT nixes evaluations at its own charter school(NYP)


Former Schools Chancellor Plans To Reset Embattled CUNY School(NY1)
Former Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew, who served under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is back in New York City this time as President of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. In his first television interview since returning to the city, the noted educator says he has a strategy to save the embattled school. * Shut and open case (NYDN Ed) When failing schools close and new schools open in their place, children benefit * City Unveils Campaign to Improve Girls’ Self-Esteem(NYT)

Dept. of Ed. ‘dumping’ tough students in struggling schools(NYP)
U.F.T. CALLS FOR DELAYING COMMON CORE CONSEQUENCES by Eliza Shapiro: U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew is] arguing that New York City teachers and students need more time to teach and learn the new curricula before they are penalized or rewarded for their performance. …NYC Dept. of Ed spokeswoman Erin Hughes: "It is a disservice to our students…"

* SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher unveiled a new national coalition of college and university leaders in support of the Common Core standards, saying part of the urgency behind the effort was the fact that legislators are considering a rollback or slowdown of the standards, the Times Union reports:

WAKE-UP SCOOP: Special interests who oppose the Common Core in New York have been winning the debate about the controversial education standards, but now they'll face a counter attack backed by a considerable investment, Capital's Jessica Bakeman reports. High Achievement New York, a nonprofit coalition of mostly business groups, plans to launch a roughly $500,000 phone and digital advertising campaign over the next several weeks in an attempt to promote the controversial curriculum standards. New York's business groups have long been among the state's most vocal supporters, arguing chiefly that a Common Core education will help close the skills gap that makes it difficult for companies to recruit qualified workers.

Different Common Core exams, very different reaction(Capital)

State experts break down the tests, which students took on Tuesday

Cuomo's Common Core panel might skip final report  via 
. writes that the Common Core standards are this generation's answer to Brown vs. Board of Education 

 To be clear, "Cuomo's Common Core" was actually approved by the Board of Regents, appointed by the Legislature, mostly the Assembly.
* School issues—with a focus shifted from the property-tax cap to the Common Core standards and teacher  evaluations—will likely play an important role in this year’s statewide elections, Newsday reports:

* Newsweek’s Alexander Nazaryan explores a viral tweet from comedian Louis C.K. that maligned the Common Core testing standards and its effects on his children, who attend New York City public schools:

Brooklyn teachers balk at ‘Common Core’ test(NYP)

Regents on Monday debated the quality of the Common Core examination questions.

* Some are questioning why brand names like Nike, Barbie and iPod were used on Common Core standardized English tests earlier this month, fueling speculation it was some form of product placement advertising, the Associated Press writes:

Albany Working on Common Core Delay Changes in Tax Credits for Ed
A deal is reportedly being negotiated to put a two-year moratorium on the use of Common Core tests for grade promotion, with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver saying discussions are pointing toward something Common Core-related possibly being in the budget, Newsday reports  Lawmakers Weigh Funding for Pre-K(WSJ) * A moratorium on the implementation of Common Core standards is being discussed as part of a final budget deal so that testing in April will be less traumatic for students, State of Politics reports: 

To the Moon in the 60's, But in 2014 We Cannot Find AS Way to Teach Common Core

A Culture Out of Gas
On September 12, 1962 President Kennedy Said America Would Go to the Moon By the End of the Century. Yet we can't find a way to teach common core until the next decade, 2022?

Left Turns Against Common Core
Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left(NYT) The newest chorus of complaints about the common learning standards is coming from one of their earliest champions: New York State. * New York State Regents Delay Full Implementation of the Common Core Until 2022

Common Core Test Easier
Many Pupils Say 2014 New York Reading Tests Are Easier, but Complaints Persist(NYT)
Passing rates plummeted when the state changed its tests to match Common Core curriculum standards, but this year students say they were better prepared to handle the material. Despite concern about the Common Core curriculum standards, students say this year’s state ELA tests were easier because they knew the types of questions and the state trimmed the number of questions.*  Brooklyn Teachers Blast Recent  Tests(NY1)
More Delay State education officials acknowledge there are flaws in the accuracy of new teacher job ratings, which has forced the state to push back the deadline for the release of ratings until at least mid-March, Newsday reports:  There’s a Common Core iPad app.* New York’s eighth graders were ranked behind eighth graders in multiple countries and states in a National Center on Education Statistics report on math and science scores, with one think tank concluding the state would benefit from the Common Core, the Post writes: * The Common Core standards represent a positive, and the state should focus on finding the best way to put them into practice rather than considering nixing them because of opposition from critics who don’t have a better plan, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli and Michael Brickman write in the Daily News

City Tries to Save School Librarians
City officials asked the state Education Department for a waiver from state regulations that require middle schools and high schools to provide a librarian for part or all of the day depending on enrollment, the Wall Street Journal reports:



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